New York Man Killed by Equipment in Saugerties Shale Mining Accident

A 30-year-old Greenville man died recently after he reportedly became entangled in a machine while drilling holes for demolition charges at a shale mine in Saugerties. Stephen Wickham was allegedly operating an industrial drill at the Northeast Solite Corporation when he was caught in an auger shaft of the machine. According to reports, Wickham attempted to manually thread a new drill steel with a strap while the drill head was rotating. While doing so, he allegedly became caught by the rotating steel. Wickham reportedly died at the scene as a result of the severe injuries he suffered in the accident.

Wickham's death was the 17th mine fatality in the United States in 2012. Wickham reportedly had at least six years of experience as a driller in New York and other mines. The exact cause of the fatal workplace accident is currently under investigation by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). According to the MSHA, best practices when operating a drill auger include thorough employee safety training, avoiding loose fitting clothing and straps while working near machinery, and refraining from changing the drill steel manually while the drill head is rotating. Additionally, the MSHA advocates for the careful monitoring of all personnel in order to ensure safety rules and procedures are followed.

Although Congress began legislating mine safety in 1891, the MSHA was established by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. Similar to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, MSHA was created to promote the health and safety of mine workers in the United States. The Act strengthened the rights of miners and consolidated all federal health and safety regulations for the mining industry under the U.S. Department of Labor. The Act also created the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission to independently review enforcement actions brought by the MSHA. In 2006, the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act amended the 1977 legislation to require additional safety measures and prompt federal notification of all mining accidents. The legislation also created enhanced civil penalties for employers.

Workers in both the mining and construction industries are faced with dangerous working conditions every day. Despite that most workplace injuries are normally governed by state workers' compensation laws, a third party such as an equipment manufacturer or property owner may also be held responsible for a workplace injury or death. If you were hurt at work in New York, you should contact a skilled personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for recovery.

Contact the hardworking attorneys at the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC if you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a workplace accident. At the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC, our experienced White Plains personal injury lawyers are ready and willing to help individuals who were injured at work receive the compensation they deserve. Our qualified attorneys have more than 45 years of experience assisting clients in New York and New Jersey. To speak with a dedicated lawyer about your personal injury or wrongful death claim, contact the Paleudis Law Firm, LLC through the law firm's website or give us a call at (212) 835-6768 in New York City.

Additional Resources:

Man dies at Saugerties mine, by the Associated Press, Albany Times Union

NY worker dies in shale mine accident, Albany Times Union

Mine Safety and Health Administration Fatalgram dated November 8, 2012