From January 1 to May 17, the total number of miners killed by mining accidents in the United States was 15. Eight were killed in coal mining accidents and seven in metal and nonmetal mining accidents. That includes four fatalities in the last six weeks since the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) issued its analysis of fatalities during the first quarter of 2013 on its website at http://www.msha.gov/fatals/summaries/summaries.asp. Click here for a chart showing year-to-date fatalities compared to previous year totals.
The year that the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 passed, 273 miners died, and since that time, fatality numbers have steadily declined, to 35 in 2012. Last year, 2012, had the lowest fatality rate in the history of U.S. mining, with .0107 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. The rate of reported injuries was 2.56 per 200,000 hour worked, also the lowest rate on record. These preliminary numbers show that actions undertaken by MSHA and the mining industry continue to move mine safety in the right direction.
MSHA has undertaken a number of measures to prevent mining deaths, injuries and illnesses: increased surveillance and strategic enforcement through impact inspections at mines with troubling compliance histories; enhanced pattern of violations actions; special initiatives such as "Rules to Live By," which focuses attention on the most common causes of mining deaths; and outreach efforts.