MSHA Releases 2014 Q1 Mine Fatality Data

The data has prompted the agency to address a recent spike in worker deaths.

MSHA has released mine fatality data for the first quarter (Jan. 1 to March 31) of 2014. The data show that in the three-month period, eight miners died. Three were killed in coal mining accidents, while five were killed in metal and nonmetal mining accidents. In the previous quarter, there were 15 mining deaths.

Since 2013, the miner deaths have occurred at coal, crushed stone, sand, gravel, silver, cement, lime, gold, granite, clay, and iron ore mining operations in 12 states. There have been 19 deaths since last October—six of which occurred underground and 13 of which occurred at surface mines.

According to MSHA, the Q1 metal and nonmetal mine deaths include two miners who were killed by falling materials, one miner who was struck by a section of pipe, one miner who was killed in a powered haulage accident, and one miner who was killed when he fell from a walkway and hit his head. In the coal mining industry, two miners were killed in machinery accidents, while one was killed in a powered haulage accident.

MSHA has called on mine operators to reevaluate the quality of training miners are receiving. "We have seen a spike in deaths in the second quarter of 2014 as well, primarily in metal and nonmetal mining, which has experienced 19 fatalities since last October," said Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "MSHA takes this increase very seriously, and has called a summit of the key metal and nonmetal stakeholders to identify the problem and take actions to reverse it."

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