Coal is a hard, black colored rock-like substance. It is made up of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and varying amount of sulphur. Coal was form as decomposition took place in the absence of oxygen and much of the hydrogen content of the matter was eroded away, leaving a material rich in carbon. The material was compressed over the years by sand and dirt, leaving the form of a carbon known as coal. The different types of coals are Anthracite, bituminous, lignite, peat, coke, and charcoal. Coal is mined out of the ground and used to produce energy. However, they are many deaths, injuries, and sickness involved in mining coal.
The earliest known use of coal was in China. Coal from the Fun-Shun mine in northeastern China may have been used to smelt copper as early as 3,000 years ago. Since then there have been several deaths and injuries in mining coal. “In 1966, an unstable waste tip from the Merthyr Vale mine in Wales released an avalanche of sludge over the village of Aberfan, engulfing not only houses but the primary school, killing 114 children”( Boyle, Everett, & Ramage p. 165). In Britain in the mid-nineteenth century it was estimated that one in every miners would face a fatal accident before completing their mining career. “1913 saw Britain’s worst mining disaster, with 439 miners killed in an explosion at the Senghenydd mine in Walse”( Boyle, Everett, & Ramage p. 165).
It is important to note that the work of a coal miner is one of the most dangerous occupations in the world. The life expectancy of a miner is very low. Mining coal involves going underground to remove coal on to conveyor belts. The deeper the miners go the higher the potential for a disaster becomes....
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...use surface mining which uses machine instead of people to extract coal. The coal companies could provide incentive to workers that suffer from pneumoconiosis. Protective clothing and face mask could also be enhancing to ensure workers safety in coal mining. With government policies and public support the fatalities involved with mining coal could decrease within the next few years.
Boyle, G., Everett, B. & Ramage, .J. (2003) Energy System and sustainability. United
Kingdom: Open University
Energy Matters(2003) Energy Matters: Fossil Fuels-coal. Retrieved February, 8, 2007.
From http://library. Thinkquest.org
Zou CQ, Gao Y, Ma Y. (1997). Pneumoconiosis in China: Asian-Pacific News Letter on
Occupational Health and Safety. Retrieved February, 8, 2007, From http://www.
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