MSHA Releases Preliminary 2013 Mine Safety Data

The agency reported that 2013 overall injury rates improved to a historic low.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has released preliminary data regarding health and safety in the industry during the 2013 calendar year. The series of charts – titled “Mine Safety and Health at a Glance” – provides information on fatality rates, injury rates, violations, inspections and more in nonmetal, metal, coal and other mines.

MSHA reports that the 2013 overall injury rates improved to a historic low, while fatality rates increased in large part due to 15 mining deaths that occurred in the fourth quarter of 2013. In the 2013 year, there were a total of 42 mining deaths (versus 36 in 2012), 20 of which occurred at coal mines and 22 of which occurred at metal and nonmetal mines. According to MSHA, despite this increase in deaths, mining and injury rates are on a downward trend.  For all mining, the 2013 preliminary injury rate was 0.132 per 200,000 hours worked, which is a record low.

In addition, the preliminary data shows that the number of mine contractor deaths dropped to a record low of four. In the previous year, there were five mine contractor deaths.

"MSHA has implemented a number of actions to improve compliance, and it shows," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, in MSHA’s press release. "The mining deaths, however, particularly in the 4th quarter of 2013, make clear that more needs done to protect our nation's miners."

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