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3rd Quarter Summary of 2013 Fatal Accidents

From July 1, 2013 to September 30, 2013, nine miners died in accidents in the mining industry. Five died in coal mining accidents and four in metal and nonmetal mining accidents. The number of miners that died in mining accidents the third quarter of 2013 was two less than the third quarter in 2012 – one less in coal mining, and one less in metal and nonmetal mining. The number of miners killed this year through September 30, compared to the same time period last year was also less. Twenty-seven miners were killed in mining accidents through September 30 of this year, compared to 30 through September 30, 2012.

As noted in MSHA’s mid-year fatality summary, miners continue to die in accidents that can be prevented using proximity detection equipment. One coal miner was killed this quarter in an accident that could have been prevented through the use of proximity detection equipment. As of September 30, 2013, 372 proximity detection systems had been installed on mining machines in underground coal mines including continuous mining machines, coal hauling machines, and scoops. Of those 372 proximity detection systems, 275 are on continuous mining machines and 97 are on other mobile machines. There also are other best practices, as described in the fatality summary section on MSHA’s website, which should be applied to prevent crushing injuries and fatalities from occurring.

In metal/nonmetal, fatalities continue to occur that could be prevented using Lock Out Tag Out best practices. Two of the fatalities this quarter could have been prevented by disconnecting the power and assuring it is off, having each miner on the job lock the power source in the safe position, using his or her personal safety lock and tag to prevent the power from being reenergized.

Below is information from the third quarter of 2013, along with best practices to help mining operations avoid fatalities like them, and for trainers to include in miner training.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2013 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2013 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Press Release

  • Mid-year Summary of 2013 Fatal Accidents

    From January 1, 2013 to June 30, 2013, eighteen miners died in accidents in the mining industry. Nine died in coal mining accidents and nine in metal and nonmetal mining accidents. In both coal and metal and nonmetal mining, one of the miners killed was a contractor. The number of miners that died in mining accidents the first half of 2013 was one less than the first half in 2012. While actions undertaken by MSHA and the mining industry continue to move mine safety in the right direction, these deaths are a reminder that much more needs to be done to protect the nation’s miners. We continue to see fatalities occur that are preventable.

    In coal mining, eight of the fatalities occurred in the first quarter of the year and one occurred in the second quarter. Two miners died in machinery accidents. Three miners died in powered haulage accidents, and two miners died as a result of roof fall accidents. One miner died in an accident resulting from exploding vessels under pressure, and one miner died in a hoisting accident. Eight of the fatalities occurred in underground mines; one was at a surface mine. The deaths were not isolated to certain occupations. Seven occupations were represented among the nine miners killed. Two of the powered haulage deaths may have been prevented through the use of proximity detection systems.

    In metal and nonmetal mining, three of the fatalities occurred in the first quarter of the year and six occurred in the second quarter. One miner died as a result of a fall of highwall. One miner died in a machinery accident and one miner died in accident involving explosives and breaking agents. Four miners died in powered haulage accidents, and two miners died in falling material accidents. Three of the fatalities occurred at underground mines; six were at surface mines. Three of the miners were mechanics, and two of the miners were supervisors.

    Below is information from the first quarter of 2013, along with best practices to help mining operations avoid fatalities like them, and for trainers to include in miner training.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2013 (Mid-year) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2013 (Mid-year) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Press Release
  • 2013 (Mid-year) Fatality Update Letter to the Mining Community
  • 1st Quarter Summary of 2013 Fatal Accidents

    From January 1 to March 31, 2013, eight coal miners and three metal and nonmetal miners died in work-related accidents, for a total of eleven mining fatalities.

    In the coal mining industry, two miners died in Machinery accidents. Two miners were killed in Powered Haulage accidents, and two miners died as a result of Roof Fall accidents. One miner died as a result of an Exploding Vessels Under Pressure accident, and one miner was killed in a Hoisting accident. The first six fatalities in the coal mining industry occurred in just 25 days.

    In metal and nonmetal mining, one miner died as a result of a Fall of Highwall accident. One miner was killed in a Machinery accident and one miner died in an Explosives and Breaking Agents accident.

    Below is information from the first quarter of 2013, along with best practices to help mining operations avoid fatalities like them, and for trainers to include in miner training.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 1st quarter 2013 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 1st quarter 2013 Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Press Release
  • First quarter 2013 Fatality Update Letter to the Mining Community


  • 2012 Full-Year Fatality Summary

    Preliminary data for 2012 show that 36 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines in 2012 - the second-lowest number of fatalities on record, one more than the 2009 historic low of 35. From January 1 to December 31, 2012, 19 coal miners and 17 metal/nonmetal miners died in work-related accidents.

    Seven miners died in West Virginia, five in Kentucky, three each in New York and Alabama, two each in Montana and Florida, and one each in Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, North Carolina, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Virginia.

    The leading cause of fatalities in the U.S. mining industry during 2012 was powered haulage, which claimed the lives of 10 miners. Other leading causes included machinery accidents, which killed six, slip or fall of person accidents, which also claimed six lives, and rib falls, which killed three miners.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2012 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2012 Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Press Release
  • 2012 (End of Year) Fatality Update Letter to the Mining Community


  • 3rd Quarter Summary of 2012 Fatal Accidents

    From July 1 to September 30, 2012, six coal miners and five metal/nonmetal miners died in work-related accidents, for a total of eleven mining fatalities.

    In the coal mining industry, one miner was killed as a result of a Machinery accident. Two miners were fatally injured as a result of Fall of Rib, Roof, Face or Back accidents. Three miners were killed in Powered Haulage accidents.

    In the metal/nonmetal mining sector, two miners died as a result of Fall of Person accidents. One miner died in a Machinery accident. One miner lost his life due to a Falling Material accident and another miner was killed in a Powered Haulage accident. One (20%) of the fatalities involved a contract employee.

    Below is information from the third quarter of 2012, along with best practices to help mining operations avoid fatalities like them, and for trainers to include in miner training.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2012 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2012 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • 2012 (3rd Quarter) Fatality Update Letter to the Mining Community

  • Mid-year Summary of 2012 Fatal Accidents

    During the first six months of 2012, 19 deaths occurred in work-related accidents in the nation's mining industry. Ten miners died in coal mining, and nine died in metal/nonmetal mining.

    The ten coal mining deaths were in the following accident categories: three in Slip or Fall, two from Rib Fall, and one each in Exploding Vessels Under Pressure, Other (Drowning), Handling Materials, Machinery, and Electrical. An uncharacteristic trend identified was that five of these fatalities – three of them supervisors – occurred on five consecutive weekends. This is a particular warning flag for the mining industry.

    The nine metal/nonmetal mining deaths were in the following accident categories: four in Powered Haulage accidents, two killed in Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall and one each killed in Machinery, Falling Material and Fall of Person accidents.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2012 (Mid-year) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2012 (Mid-year) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • 2012 (Mid-year) Fatality Update Letter to the Mining Community

  • Summary of First Quarter 2012 Fatal Accidents

    During the first quarter of 2012, 10 mining deaths occurred in work-related accidents. Six were in coal and four were in metal/nonmetal.

    The six coal mining deaths were in each of the following accident categories: Exploding Vessels Under Pressure, Other (Drowning), Handling Materials, Rib Fall, Machinery, and Electrical. An uncharacteristic trend identified was that five of these fatalities – 3 of them supervisors – occurred on 5 consecutive weekends. This is a particular warning flag for the mining industry.

    The four metal/nonmetal mining deaths were in the following accident categories: one in a Powered Haulage accident; two killed in Fall of Face/Rib/Highwall; and one in a Fall of Person accident.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2012 (1st Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2012 (1st Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • 2012 (1st Quarter) Fatality Update Year End Stakeholder Letter

  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents

    Thirty seven miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines in 2011. There were 21 coal mining and 16 metal/nonmetal mining fatalities last year, compared with 48 and 23, respectively, in 2010, making 2011 the year with the second-lowest number of mining deaths since statistics were first recorded in 1910.

    Even though the number of mining deaths in 2011 were the second-lowest on record, one mining death is still one too many. Each miner killed means a family, a community, and a workplace suffered an incalculable loss. We must work harder to prevent fatalities in mining workplaces in this country.

    Of the 37 fatalities reported, 12 occurred at surface coal mines, 11 at surface metal/nonmetal mines, nine at underground coal mines and five at underground metal/nonmetal mines. Nine workers died in accidents involving machinery — six in coal mines and three in metal/nonmetal mines — making it the leading cause of fatal mining accidents.

  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk
  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines with Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines with Preventative Recommendations
  • 2011 Fatality Update Year End Stakeholder Letter
  • 2011 Fatality Year End Summary Instructor Letter
  • 2011 Fatality Year End Summary Grantee Letter

  • Summary of 2011 (3rd Quarter) Fatal Accidents

    The mining industry recently experienced four mining deaths within four days. In an effort to remind operators, miners, and contractors to stay focused on preventing fatalities and injuries, the Mine Safety and Health Administration is distributing best practice and preventative measure information in the form of a Safety Alert and a 2011 3rd quarter fatality update.

    The Safety Alert is a poster that can be displayed in the mine to remind operators, miners, and contractors of the fatalities that occurred between Oct 28 -31, 2011. It lists actions to take to prevent these kinds of accidents.

    The 3rd quarter fatality update analyzes the mining fatalities for the third quarter of 2011 and best practices to prevent them.

    Fatalities are preventable. Mining workplaces can and must be made safe for miners, and operators must ensure that safety procedures are always followed. Many mines operate every shift of every day, year in and year out, without a fatality or a lost-time injury. It can be done. It requires focus, effort, and dedication.

  • Summary of 2011 3rd Quarter Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines with Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2011 3rd Quarter Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines with Preventative Recommendations
  • Safety Alert Poster

  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents through June 30

  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents Through June 30 at Metal and Nonmetal Mines
  • Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents Through June 30 at Coal Mines

  • Mid-year Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents

    Between January 1 and June 30, 2011, 14 miners have lost their lives in mining accidents. Six miners were killed in accidents involving metal and nonmetal mines; eight miners lost their lives in coal mine accidents.

    Even though the number of mining deaths for the first half of this year are at an all-time low, one mining death is still one too many.

    To that end, detailed information analyzing these mining fatalities for the first half of 2011 and the best practices to prevent them is available through the links below.

  • Mid-year Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Mid-year Summary of 2011 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk - 07/2011

  • Summary of 2010 Fatal Accidents

    While 2010 will be remembered for the explosion that killed 29 men at the Upper Big Branch mine, we must remember that 42 additional miners' lives also ended in tragedy last year. We must honor these miners by increasing our efforts to ensure safe and healthy mining workplaces for our nation's miners.

    In 2010, 19 coal miners in addition to the 29 who lost their lives at the Upper Big Branch mine were killed in mining accidents. Twenty-three miners in the metal and nonmetal mining industry also died in mining accidents – 45 percent were contractors. Not including the Upper Big Branch-related deaths, it appears that more than half of the 42 additional miners died in accidents involving violations of the Rules to Live By standards. In a look back over the past 10 years and excluding Upper Big Branch, these same types of fatal accidents have occurred. We must take the lessons to be learned by these fatal accidents and act on them to prevent additional fatalities.

  • Summary of 2010 Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • Summary of 2010 Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations
  • From the Assistant Secretary's Desk - 02/2011



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