Today's News / Occupational Safety

After a decline, U.S. mining deaths on the rise again

July 29, 2014
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mining high wallDespite outreach efforts by the Mining Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), a high number of preventable mining industry deaths occurred during the first half of 2014, according to a mid-year summary.   

During the first half of 2014, 22 miners were killed in accidents in the mining industry. Fourteen died in metal and nonmetal mining accidents and eight died in coal mining accidents.

An increase

The toll represents an increase in the mid-year fatality count and reverses a decline in fatal accidents seen in recent years as MSHA and the mining industry worked together to improve mine safety. In May, MSHA launched a number of efforts, including outreach with stakeholders and trainers and utilizing the agency’s training and enforcement tools, to counteract the spike in mining deaths, particularly in the metal and nonmetal sector.

In the second quarter of the year alone, 14 miners died – 5 in coal and 9 in metal/nonmetal.

Machinery accidents the top cause

"In both types of mining, we continued to see a high number of preventable deaths due to Machinery accidents (7) and Powered Haulage accidents (5) during the first half of the year," according to the MSHA. Four of those killed were contractors; five were supervisors.

Below are details on the mining deaths that occurred between January 1 and June 30, 2014, along with best practices to help mining operations avoid such incidents, and for trainers to include in miner training.

"Mining deaths are preventable. While we have made progress, it is clear there is more to be done. Miners deserve a safe and healthful workplace, and at MSHA, we are committed to doing everything we can to make that happen."

From the Assistant Secretary's Desk

Summary of 2014 (Mid-Year) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations

Summary of 2014 (Mid-Year) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations

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