MSHA released a third-quarter summary of mining deaths across the country. From July through September 2012, 11 deaths occurred in work-related accidents – five in metal/nonmetal mining, and six in coal mining.
Of the five metal/nonmetal mining deaths, two miners died as a result of falls, one miner died in a machinery accident, one miner lost his life due to falling material, and one miner was killed in a powered haulage accident.
Of the six coal mining deaths, one miner was killed as a result of a machinery accident; two miners were fatally injured as a result of fall of rib, roof, face or back accidents; and three miners were killed in powered haulage accidents.
“Even though the mining industry has achieved historic low fatality and injury rates, we know that more needs to be done, and that fatalities and injuries are preventable,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Many mines operate every shift of every day, year in and year out, without a fatality or a lost-time injury. Fatalities can be prevented through effective safety and health management programs in the workplace. Pre-shift and on-shift examinations can identify and eliminate hazards that kill and injure miners. And providing effective and appropriate training will ensure that miners recognize and understand hazards and how to control or eliminate them.”
To identify mines with health and safety problems, MSHA has undertaken a number of outreach and enforcement initiatives such as special impact inspections and “Rules to Live By,” a fatality prevention program that highlights the safety and health standards most frequently cited during fatal accident investigations. “We believe these actions, along with those adopted by the mining industry, can make a positive difference,” said Main.