An Employer and Its Lack of Concern for the Safety of Its Employees

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An Employer and its Lack of Concern for the Safety of its Employees

On April 5, 2010, an explosion ripped through an underground coal mine in West Virginia. The name of this coal mine was the Upper Big Branch Mine and it was run by Massey Energy Company. 61 miners were underground at the time of the explosion and 29 of them were killed, making this disaster one of the worst mining tragedies in US history . The MSHA, or the Mine Safety and Health Administration, released a final report concluding that this explosion was caused by a mixture of coal dust and methane, but that was just the actual physical cause. There were several other factors that led to this explosion, and many things could have been done to prevent this tragedy. Luckily for the miners, the explosion at Upper Big Branch was the only big disaster, but Massey Energy and the CEO, Don Blankenship, could easily be held accountable for the explosion. One reason was because of the moral standard that Massey Energy Company failed to follow. They failed on their duty owed to the miners, by deliberately treating them in a way in which they didn’t freely and rationally consent to, and were in turn treated as a means to an end, in order to maximize profits at all costs. Also, Massey Company’s unfair treatment towards its miners created a dangerous environment, beyond the regular risks that are expected at a mine. This was to keep profits the main priority even over employee safety, thus using the employees as a means to an end, and therefore Massey Company acted immorally.

In 2010, Massey Energy Corporation was one of the leading coal producers in the United States. In fact, the corporation described itself as “the most enduring and successful coal company in central Appalachia” in which they owned one-third of the most known coal reserves. Massey provided well-paying jobs in regions that have high poverty…...

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