4th Quarter Summary of 2013 Fatal Accidents
In 2013, 42 miners died in work-related accidents at the nation's mines, an increase of six over last year. Of those fatalities, 20 were in coal mining and 22 were in metal/nonmetal mining, compared with 20 and 16, respectively, in 2012. While MSHA and the entire mining community have made a number of improvements and have been moving mine safety in the right direction in the past few years, the increased number of fatalities in 2013 makes clear we need to do more to protect our nation’s miners.
Progress made in mine safety in recent years also lets us know that greater improvements are achievable. Preliminary fatality and injury rate data for the first three quarters of 2013 were .0112 and 2.45, respectively, below the rates for the same period in 2012, which marked the lowest fatal and injury rates recorded in a calendar year in mining history. That replaced the prior record for the lowest fatal and injury rates in mining set in 2011. [Note: Rates are determined by the number of fatalities or injuries per 200,000 hours worked. Rates for calendar year 2013, which are calculated using operator-reported employment hours, are not yet available.]
The first three quarters of 2013 also contributed to the lowest fatal and injury rates and the fewest number of mining deaths ever recorded in mining in a fiscal year. For fiscal year 2013 (Oct. 1, 2012 through Sept. 30, 2013), preliminary data indicate a record-low fatality rate of .0104 and injury rate of 2.42, as well as the fewest number of mining deaths at 33.
The fourth quarter of 2013, however, did not follow that trend. Six coal miners and nine metal/nonmetal miners died in mining accidents during the final quarter of 2013, a significant increase from the same period in 2012, when four coal miners and two metal/nonmetal miners died.
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 Stakeholder Letter Summary of 2013 (4th Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Metal/Nonmetal Mines and Preventative Recommendations Summary of 2013 (4th Quarter) Fatal Accidents at Coal Mines and Preventative Recommendations Mining Related Fatalities FY 1978 - FY 2013 Press Release