MSHA Reports 27 Miners Died in 2018

Eighteen of the deaths occurred at surface operations, while nine occurred in underground mines. The leading cause of miner fatalities during 2018 was powered haulage, which accounted for 13 deaths.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration reported Jan. 9 that a total of 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018, calling this the second-lowest number ever recorded for a year.

Eighteen of the deaths occurred at surface operations, while 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 agency reported.

The leading cause of miner fatalities during 2017 was powered haulage, which accounted for 13 deaths -- 48 percent of the annual total. MSHA has taken action to counter powered haulage fatalities, including publishing a Request for Information last year seeking stakeholder input on technologies and practices that can improve safety conditions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors. MSHA also launched a campaign to educate miners and mine operators on the hazards associated with these types of equipment.

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