According to preliminary data released by the MSHA, 25 miners died in work-related accidents in US mines during 2016, down from 29 in 2015. This represents the lowest number of mining deaths ever recorded and only the second year that mining deaths have dropped below 30.
Nine of the 25 fatalities occurred in coal mines, with the leading causes of death being powered haulage and machinery, accounting for six of the deaths.
A total of 16 deaths were reported in metal and non-metal mines in 2016. Four were caused by machinery accidents and three by powered haulage. None of the 16 deaths occurred in underground mining operations.
Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, credited the agency’s use of strategic enforcement tools, including targeted impact inspections that address problem mines quickly, the pattern of violations regulation reigning in chronic violators, special initiatives aimed at preventing deaths that occur commonly, compliance assistance, training and outreach – along with improved compliance by the mining industry.“While these deaths show that more needs to be done to protect our nation’s miners, we have reached a new era in mine safety in the past few years,” said Main. “Each year since 2009, injury rates have dropped, and the number of mining deaths and fatality rates were less than in all prior years in history except in 2010, when the Upper Big Branch mine disaster occurred.
“We have created a new roadmap to protect our nation’s miners,” Main added.
MSHA has encouraged mine operators to put effective safety and health programs in place that address the specific conditions and hazards; conduct thorough examinations of the workplace to assure that the conditions and hazards leading to deaths and injuries are identified and fixed before they pose a danger to miners; and properly train their miners on hazards and conditions that could cause injury, illness or death as they perform their duties.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/04012017/msha-reports-lowest-number-of-mining-deaths/