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Mining fatalities in 2018 were second lowest on record

Powered haulage accounted for 48 percent of fatalities

Posted January 15, 2019

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018, the second lowest number ever recorded.

According to MSHA, eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 U.S. metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation’s 1,200 coal mines.

The leading cause of fatalities was powered haulage — hauling materials and personnel — which accounted for 13 fatalities or 48 percent of the annual total. MSHA says it has taken action to counter powered haulage fatalities, including publishing a Request for Information seeking stakeholder input on technologies and practices that can improve safety conditions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors. The agency also has launched a campaign to educate miners and mine operators on the hazards associated with such equipment.

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