Mining fatalities surpass 30 on the year

By |  September 13, 2023

MSHA logo

Five fatal mining accidents in August and a sixth in early September mean the number of industry fatalities is up to 31 on the year.

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) provided preliminary details about the latest fatal accidents on its website, classifying Aug. 21 and 24 incidents as machinery accidents and Aug. 30 and Sept. 8 incidents as involving powered haulage equipment.

Two separate accidents happened on Aug. 5 – one MSHA deemed as a slip or fall of person, with the other involving falling, rolling or sliding rock or material of any kind.

MSHA says two of the five fatal August accidents occurred at sand and gravel operations. A third happened at what the agency describes as a “sand common” mine, with the others taking place at dimensional stone and coal sites.

MSHA indicates the fatal accident Sept. 8 occurred at a crushed stone operation.

The five fatalities in August were the most in a single month since March 2023, when five fatal accidents occurred. Six miners were killed in accidents in January of this year.

Additional perspective

In 2022, MSHA data indicates that 29 miners were killed in accidents across the mining industry. The 31 mining fatalities this year is the most industrywide since 2021, when 37 miners were killed in accidents.

Chris Williamson, assistant secretary at MSHA, shed light on the upward trend in mining fatalities midway through this year during an exclusive interview with Pit & Quarry.

“My message has been [that] miners are safer and healthier if we all work together,” Williamson says in a Q&A Pit & Quarry published online May 11. “I think that’s what Congress intended for all of us to do, as well. MSHA is certainly trying to take the lead here [and] do the things that historically we’ve traditionally done well.”

At the current rate, the mining industry is tracking toward 40 fatalities on the year. The industry has not had 40 or more fatalities since 2014, when 46 miners died.

Avatar photo

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

Comments are closed