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DuraLabel's Weekly Safety News

Blog Author Angelique Sanders

Weekly safety news. Stay in touch with regulations from OSHA, NFPA, and other safety codes. Find out about other companies' best and worst practices. We scour the internet to provide you with helpful training resources and the latest safety information.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

MSHA Reports 2012 Safest Year In Mining History

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced the release of final data for 2012 that indicate the lowest fatality and injury rates in the history of U.S. mining, along with the lowest rate of contractor fatalities since the agency began calculating those rates in 1983

Thirty-six miners died on the job in 2012. The 2012 total includes the Dec. 28 death of a coal miner at Choctaw Mine in Walker County, Ala., that was recently deemed chargeable to the mining industry. Five contractors died in mining accidents in 2012, compared to 11 in 2011, nearly half the lowest number ever recorded.

Compliance with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 also continued to improve in 2012, with an 18 percent reduction in violations cited by MSHA since 2010. As a result, penalties for violations dropped. Although the number of mines in the United States decreased, the number of miners increased from 381,209 to 387,878.  In 2012, the fatality rate was .0110 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. The rate of reported injuries was 2.56 per 200,000 hour worked. These reductions replace the prior year's record historical low rates.

The number of citations and orders MSHA issued fell from 156,802 in 2011 to 139,770 in 2012, an 11 percent decrease. Penalty assessments dropped from $160.8 million in 2011 to $120.5 million in 2012.

In coal mining, 20 miners died in on-the-job accidents in 2012, the second lowest number ever. The fatality rate was .0159 deaths per 200,000 hours worked, also the second lowest ever recorded. The rate of reported injuries was 3.16 per 200,000 hours worked, the lowest ever recorded. The number of citations and orders issued declined, from 93,330 in 2011 to 79,250 in 2012, a 15 percent reduction.

The coal industry saw decreases in the number of mines (from 1,973 to 1,871) and in production (from 1,095 to 1,018 million tons) between 2011 and 2012. The number of coal miners also decreased from 143,437 in 2011 to 137,650 in 2012.

In metal and nonmetal mining, the record-low fatality rate was .0079 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. Sixteen miners died in on-the-job accidents, equaling the record low set in 2011. The reported injury rate of 2.19 per 200,000 hours worked also was a record low. Citations and orders issued dropped from 63,472 in 2011 to 60,520 in 2012, a five percent reduction. While the number of metal and nonmetal mines remained steady in 2012, at 12,193, the number of miners increased from 237,772 in 2011 to 250,228 in 2012

For updated information on number of inspections, violations, mines and miners, as well as injury and fatality rates, go to "MSHA at a Glance" at http://www.msha.gov, under "Fact Sheets."

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posted by Steve Hudgik
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