First half of 2012 saw second lowest mining related deaths

July 20, 2012

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported that 2012 saw the second lowest amount of mining deaths for a mining midyear in history. During the first six months 19 people died in work-related accidents at the nation’s mines.

Nine miners in the U.S. metal and nonmetal mining industry and 10 U.S. coal miners were killed as a result of accidents from January 1 to June 30, 2012.

MSHA statistics revealed four miners died as a result of powered haulage accidents in the metal and nonmetal mining industry, while two miners were killed in fall of face/rib/highwall accidents. One miner each died in falling materials, machinery and fall of person accidents in metal and nonmetal mining operations.

Two of the nine metal/nonmetal miners killed had less than three years of mining experience, according to MSHA.

Three coal miners died from slip or fall accidents while two coal miners perished from rib fall accidents. One miner was killed in each of the following accident classifications: exploding vessels under pressure, other (drowning), handling materials, machinery and electrical.

“Five of these fatalities occurred on five consecutive weekends, and three of the fatalities involved supervisors,” MSHA noted. “This is a particular warning flag for the mining industy.”

No contractors were killed at coal mining operations in the first quarter of 2012 while two contractors were killed in the second quarter of this year.

“While 19 is the second-lowest number of mining deaths recorded in mining midyear, we know that these deaths are preventable,” said Joseph A. Main, U.S. assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Many mines operate every shift of every day, year in and year out, without a fatality or a lost-time injury.

“Mining workplaces can and must be made safe for all miners,” he stressed.



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