DALLAS, W.Va. (WBOY) — The accident report on the January 2022 death of a coal miner in Marshall County, West Virginia said lack of safety enforcement by a Pennsylvania contractor caused the death.

On Jan. 14, 2022, 44-year-old Jeffrey Phillips was killed after falling 27 feet in the Ohio County Mine in Marshall County, West Virginia. According to an investigation report released to 12 News by the U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, Phillips’ death was due to the lack of enforcement of safety by the contractor, NexGen Industrial Services Inc. based in Mount Morris, Pa., just north of Morgantown.

The report said that based on interviews conducted at the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training in Westover, West Virginia, another worker had told Phillips several times to put on his fall protection prior to the accident and that Phillips had used fall protection two times during their shift prior to the fall, but he was not wearing it in the particular instance.

Where the incident took place. The Report of Investigation said that Phillips was on the top belt (top left corner) when the accident took place. (Photo from U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration’s Report of Investigation)

The investigation said NexGen did not ensure that Phillips, who had 13 years of mining experience, was using proper safety belts while working at an elevated location.

The investigation determined that all fall protection equipment was in good condition and that there were no other hazards in the area that would have contributed to the accident.

A citation was issued to NexGen Industrial Services Inc., according to the report, and the following corrective action plan was included in the report:

The contractor developed and implemented an updated training plan on effective use of safety belts and lines and retrained all miners according to the updated plan.

Corrective Plan from the Report of Investigation

The full report can be read here.