Approaching Coal Mine Safety from a Comparative Law and Interdisciplinary Perspective
16 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2007 Last revised: 15 Mar 2015
These remarks, given on March 21, 2007, as part of the West Virginia Law Review's Symposium: Thinking Outside of the Box: A Post-Sago Look at Coal Mine Safety, suggest a comparative and interdisciplinary approach to looking at workplace health and safety issues. The remarks in particular and the symposium in general use the Sago Disaster as a springboard for examining the various and complex questions related to the broader question - What role does or should the law play in protecting workers' health and safety. This, of course, leads to the obvious question - Does regulation work? An administrative law and comparative approach to the regulatory issue helps to identify best practices that may save lives. But more profound questions quickly surface. What do we citizens of a "just" society owe workers who daily risk their lives for our collective comfort? If the technology is available to save workers' lives, why hasn't it been made available? The remarks raise questions in hope that next year's symposium will commence a dialogue for presenting different perspectives and possible solutions.
Keywords: health and safety, mine safety, comparative law, administrative law, msha, human rights
JEL Classification: K31, K32, K33, I18
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation