Where mining fatalities stand as 2023 nears finish line

By |  December 14, 2023

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The rate of fatal mining accidents slowed in recent weeks, with the last Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA)-reported fatality happening Nov. 17.

As of Dec. 14, the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) details online 38 mining fatalities that occurred in 2023. The last fatality MSHA reports happened at a dimensional limestone mine in Wisconsin. The agency characterizes the fatality as a “handling material” accident, with a preliminary report noting that a miner died when a section of rock saw stand he was removing from a cargo trailer fell over and struck him.

Prior to that accident, two separate fatal accidents happened Nov. 13. MSHA attributed one accident on that date to the fall of a face, rib, side or highwall, noting that a miner died after being engulfed by a collapsing highwall.

In a separate Nov. 13 accident, MSHA says a miner died when he was entangled in the drill steel of a roof-bolting machine.

The 38 mining fatalities as of Dec. 14 are nine more than the fatalities total for 2022. The 38 also surpasses the mining industry’s total from 2021 (36).

The 38 also represents the highest industrywide mark since 2014. Forty-six miners died nationwide that year.

Related: Where MSHA and the industry are right now

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About the Author:

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

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