Wyoming miners worked all of 2015 without a single recorded job-related fatality, according to state officials.
Accidents have plagued Wyoming coal mines since territorial times, when mines lacked many of the safety features required in today’s mines.
WyoFile has confirmed that a coal miner was killed early this morning at the Black Thunder mine in southern Campbell County. Killed was Jacob Dowdy, age 24, who had worked at the mine for nearly three years.
Sunday April 28 is Workers Memorial Day, a day set aside each year to remember workers killed on the job, and the families they leave behind. It’s particularly important that Workers Memorial Day be recognized here in Wyoming where, until a couple of years ago, the state held the dubious distinction for having the worst, or second-worst, workplace fatality rate in the nation every year for a full decade.
Two worker advocacy groups say that, for 10 years, Wyoming and industry leaders have failed to take the carnage of workplace fatalities seriously, and they’re urging the state to use its “legal power and moral authority” to force immediate changes on the ground. “It’s high time that state government and the Legislature quit playing games with the lives of workers in Wyoming,” Wyoming State AFL-CIO executive secretary Kim Floyd said in a prepared statement on Friday.