MSHA: 2023 mining fatalities already up to 10

By |  March 8, 2023

Logo: MSHA

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) reported three more mining fatalities in February and a fourth on the first day of March.

The latest fatalities mean 10 miners have died in accidents across the U.S. this year.

For perspective, MSHA reported that eight people died in mining accidents last January and February. Another four miners died in March 2022.

About the accidents

MSHA classified the mining fatalities on Feb. 26 and March 1 of this year as machinery accidents. Bulldozers were involved in both instances.

In the Feb. 26 accident, MSHA says a contractor died when the bulldozer he was operating left the haul road and rolled down a hill. The contractor was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected from the bulldozer, the agency says.

In the March 1 accident, MSHA says a contractor died when the bulldozer he was operating backed over a spoil bank, left the bench area and rolled down an embankment. Like the incident three days earlier, MSHA says the contractor was ejected from the bulldozer.

Dating back to the start of 2022, MSHA has classified 13 of 39 mining fatalities as machinery accidents. Six of the 39 in that span were attributed to powered haulage while four each were classified as drownings, electrical accidents, or slip or fall of person. MSHA classified the remaining fatalities dating back to the start of 2022 as accidents involving engulfments (2); fall of roof or back (2); confined space (1); fall of face, rib, side or highwall (1); falling, rolling or sliding rock or material of any kind (1); and hand tools (1).

Additionally, MSHA says four of the last five five accidents occurred in crushed stone operations.

While mining fatalities are once again trending high in the first quarter, the industry did not experience any fatal accidents in 2022 between March 23 and June 16. MSHA’s fatality reports show that 29 miners died across all of last year.

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Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

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

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