May 5, 2014
The metal and nonmetal mining sector experienced five deaths in the first quarter of 2014, according to data released Monday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
MSHA noted that in the previous quarter, the metal and nonmetal sector saw an increase in deaths.
Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health, said the trend has been ongoing since last year.
“We have seen a spike in deaths in the second quarter of 2014 as well, primarily in metal and nonmetal mining, which has experienced 19 fatalities since last October,” Main said. “MSHA takes this increase very seriously, and has called a summit of the key metal and nonmetal stakeholders to identify the problem and take actions to reverse it.”
The summit offered information about the metal and nonmetal mining deaths, which occurred at crushed stone, sand and gravel, silver, cement, lime, gold, granite, clay and iron ore mining operations in 12 states in the U.S. MSHA noted that six deaths occurred at underground mines, while 13 happened at surface mines.
In the first three months of 2014, two miners were killed by falling/sliding materials, two were killed in falling accidents and another in a powered haulage accident.
MSHA released the following reports on these accidents this year:
A 56-year-old belt operator died at an iron ore mine after becoming entangled in a belt conveyor
A 27-year-old contractor mechanic died at a crushed limestone operation when he fell from a walkway and hit his head on the ground
For a summary of the fatal accidents that occurred in the first quarter of 2014, click here.
Check back later for more details about the summit MSHA held on Monday.
UPDATE: To read more about how MSHA is responding to the recent spike in metal and nonmetal mining fatalities, click here.