Record low injuries, fatalities recorded in mining
The year 2012 saw the lowest fatality and injury rates in the history of U.S. mining, according to preliminary data.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration released its latest MSHA at a Glance, which includes updated information on inspections, violations, mines, and miners, as well as injury and fatality rates.
In 2012, the fatality rate was 0.0107 deaths per 200,000 hours worked, according to the report. The rate of reported injuries was 2.56 per 200,000 hour worked, replacing the prior year's record historical low rates.
"These preliminary numbers clearly show that actions undertaken by MSHA and the mining industry continue to move mine safety in the right direction, with improvements in compliance with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, and a reduction in injury and fatality rates," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
The MSHA said the number of mines in the U.S. decreased slightly in 2012. However, the number of miners increased. The report includes the following specific numbers:
- Overall, 35 miners died on the job in 2012, tying the record low number of deaths in mining set in 2009. The number of citations and orders MSHA issued fell from 157,052 in 2011 to 140,007 in 2012, an 11 percent decrease.
- In coal mining, 19 miners died in on-the-job accidents in 2012, the second-lowest number ever. The fatality rate was 0.0151 deaths per 200,000 hours worked while the rate of reported injuries was 3.15 per 200,000 hours worked, the lowest ever recorded. The number of citations and orders issued declined from 93,451 in 2011 to 79,327 in 2012, a 15 percent reduction.
- In metal and nonmetal mining, the record-low fatality rate was 0.0080 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. There were 16 reported deaths on-the-job, equaling the record low set in 2011. The reported injury rate of 2.19 per 200,000 hours worked also was a record low. Citations and orders issued dropped from 63,601 in 2011 to 60,680 in 2012, a 5 percent reduction.
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May 13, 2013
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