Is tough enforcement a good thing? The number of miners killed on the job in the U.S. last year fell to the lowest number in the 100+ years that records have been kept.
In 2009, there were 34 mining fatalities. That’s down one-third from last year’s total of 52.
The head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Joseph Main, attributed the drop to beefed-up enforcement and stricter regulations in the wake of a series of mining disasters in the middle of the last decade.
In 2006, 12 miners died in a methane explosion at the Sago Mine in West Virginia, and five died in a similar explosion at the Darby Mine in Kentucky. In 2007, six miners were killed in the collapse of the Crandall Canyon mine in Utah.
After those tragedies, states revamped their mine safety laws, and Congress toughened federal rules.
So here’s the question: Could a similar sense of outrage among state and federal legislators about the number of worker fatalities in all industries create other measures that would slash the number of deaths? What would those changes be? Let us know in the Comments Box below.