Skip to content
Fatality Prevention - Rules to Live By
Fatality Prevention - Rules to Live By

"Rules to Live By" is an initiative to prevent fatalities in mining. Too many miners still lose their lives in preventable accidents. The loss of even one miner causes devastation and pain to the victim's family and friends. Between calendar years 2000 and 2009, 623 miners lost their lives. Most lost their lives in single and double fatality accidents, and some lost their lives in major disasters. MSHA analyzed these fatal accidents to identify conditions and practices that contributed to the 623 deaths, safety standards violated, root causes, and abatement practices.

  • Rules to Live By I: Fatality Prevention - focuses on 24 frequently cited standards (11 in coal mining and 13 in metal/nonmetal mining) that cause or contribute to fatal accidents in the mining industry in 9 accident categories.


  • Rules to Live By II: Preventing Catastrophic Accidents - focuses on standards which were cited during major disasters over the last 10 years, and which contributed to 5 or more fatalities.


  • Rules to Live By III: Preventing Common Mining Deaths - focuses on 14 safety standards - 8 in coal mining and 6 in metal and nonmetal mining - cited as a result of at least five mining accidents and resulting in at least five deaths during the 10-year period from January 1, 2001, to December 31, 2010.
  • Many miners over the years have lost their lives in these types of accidents. All of us - MSHA, mine operators, contractors, miners' representatives and miners - must focus on why these accidents happen and how to stop them. MSHA will provide operators program and resource information, such as engineering suggestions, and reach out to miners and miners' representatives during inspections to ensure that mine operators and miners have information to address and eliminate workplace hazards.

    Compliance with safety and health standards is the responsibility of mine operators. While MSHA supports education and outreach efforts to assist the mining industry in improving mine safety and health, MSHA is charged with ensuring consistent and strict compliance with safety and health standards, and expects operators to foster a culture of zero tolerance for violations in their operations, including violations by contractors. Please share this information with all of your members and constituents.

    MSHA has compiled reference material on this page to help operators, contractors, supervisors, miners' representatives, miners, and other members of the mining community to focus on these 33 standards and 13 categories and improve safety and health in America's mines.

  • Rules to Live By I
  • Rules to Live By II
  • Rules to Live By III



  • Some or all of the files available on this page are PDF. For more information on PDF, PDF readers and accessibility issues, please use this link.