MSHA report offers details of year’s mining deaths

By |  July 23, 2015

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released a midyear report noting that 18 miners died in the first half of 2015.

According to MSHA, eight miners died at surface metal and nonmetal mines and two died at underground metal and nonmetal mines. Two deaths occurred at surface coal mines while six occurred at underground coal mines.

“Mining fatalities are preventable, and each of these deaths reminds us that much more needs to be done to protect the nation’s miners,” says Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for MSHA. “Safe mine operation must be at the forefront at all times to avoid the pain and suffering the families of these miners now have to endure.”

MSHA reports that five fewer miners died in metal and nonmetal miner by midyear this year versus midyear 2014.

MSHA’s report also provides trend details on the mining deaths. For example, machinery and powered haulage accidents were the most common cause of mining deaths. They accounted for eight fatalities – four in each category. Six of the 18 miners killed were contractors. Five were superiors, and one was a mine operator.

In the metal and nonmetal sector, two miners were killed in powered haulage accidents; two in machinery accidents; two from falling/sliding material; one in a fall of roof; one from hoisting; one from striking or bumping and one from a fall of person.

Half of the metal and nonmetal deaths occurred at small mines with fewer than 10 employees, MSHA reports.

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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