The Miners

At present time, about 4,000 men and women, most of them miners, are on the payrolls of the Illinois coal industry.


They comprise a work force that ranks near the top in the United States in training, skills and pay. There is no more overriding concern than the health and safety of these individuals.


Like other aspects of the industry in Illinois, change in the work force has been profound in recent years as it has become smaller and, at the same time, more experienced, productive and technologically sophisticated.


On the important subject of safety, coal mining firms in Illinois long ago realized that a safe and healthy work place led to a more efficient and productive one. Therefore, much emphasis is placed on accident prevention, safety inspections and employee training.


In Illinois, state and federal laws and regulations, as well as coal companies' safety programs, require elaborate safety precautions in every phase of mining. Company officials conduct health and safety inspections daily. In addition, federal officials and representatives of the Office of Mines and Minerals, a division of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, carry out intensive inspections frequently.


Due to the growth of the longwall method of mining and higher extraction continuous miners, increased production at a number of mines has gone hand in hand with improved safety conditions for coal miners.

As indicated earlier, training also remains an important function for the personnel at mines. As a result of industry, state and other training efforts…

  • All mine supervisory personnel must be tested and certified by the state…
  • All new miners undergo basic training…
  • Mine employees undergo refresher training annually…
  • A miner entering a new job must be trained specifically for the new position…
  • Certified emergency medical technicians are required in Illinois mines.
  • Non-mine employees regularly entering mine property, such as vendors, must be trained to deal with hazards.


All of these factors added together help create a healthier and safer work environment for today's Illinois coal miner.