Fatalities Lowest Ever
- Written by Mark Kuhar
April 9, 2013 – MSHA announced the release of preliminary data for 2012 that indicate the lowest fatality and injury rates in the history of U.S. mining. In 2012, the fatality rate was .0107 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. Although the number of mines in the U.S. decreased slightly (from 14,176 in 2011 to 14,058 in 2012), the number of miners increased from 381,209 to 387,671. Thirty-five miners died on the job in 2012, tying the record low number of deaths in mining set in 2009. The number of citations and orders MSHA issued fell from 157,052 in 2011 to 140,007 in 2012, an 11 percent decrease. In metal and nonmetal mining, the record-low fatality rate was .0080 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 63,601 in 2011 to 60,680 in 2012, a 5 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 250,310 in 2012.