MSHA: 2015 safest year in mining history

By |  April 11, 2016

msha-logoLast year was the safest year in mining history based on the number of fatalities and injury rates per hours of miners’ exposure, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA).  MSHA released its 2015 data on the “Mine Safety and Health at a Glance” page at The page of key statistics, which includes information on inspections, violations and number of mines and miners, is updated annually.

In 2015, 28 miners died in mining accidents, which is down from 45 deaths in 2014. Additionally, the fatal injury rate was the lowest in mining history, MSHA adds.

In the metal and nonmetal mining industry, both the number of fatalities and the fatal injury rate were almost cut in half from the 2014 figures. The all-injury rate also dropped to a new low in 2015 at 2.28, MSHA reports.

Because the number of miners and mining operations was down in 2015, MSHA conducted fewer inspections. In 2015, there was an 11 percent reduction in the number of citations and issues ordered. In addition, assessments of penalties dropped to $62.3 million in 2015, with approximately 2 percent of violations not yet assessed.

“The progress we made in 2015 is good news for miners and the mining industry,” says Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “It is the result of intensive efforts by MSHA and its stakeholders that have led to mine site compliance improvements, a reduction of chronic violators, historic low levels of respirable coal dust and silica, and a record low number of mining deaths.”

MSHA will release a final version of the calendar year data in July.

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About the Author:

Allison Kral is the former senior digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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