April 15, 2014
Metal and nonmetal mining saw an increase of approximately 27 percent in deaths in 2013, bringing the fatal injury rate up by 0.0029 per 200,000 hours worked, according to preliminary data released by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The agency’s “Mine Safety and Health at a Glance” displays data for all sectors of mining and includes information about fatalities, injuries, number of mines and miners, citations and more.
The data show that fatalities rose from 16 in 2012 to 22 in 2013 and the fatal injury rate was up from 0.0079 in 2012 to 0.0108 in 2013. Despite the rise in the fatal injury rate, the total injury rate was down from 2.19 in 2012 to 2.11 in 2013.
According to the data, there were 250,842 miners employed at 12,008 metal/nonmetal mines throughout all 50 states. While the number of metal/nonmetal mines was down by 214, the number of miners increased by 614.
The number of citations and orders issued fell from 60,176 in 2012 to 55,212, and significant and substantial (S&S) citations and orders were down from 26 percent in 2012 to 25 percent in 2013.
According to the data, metal/nonmetal inspectors conducted 100 percent of mandatory inspections at mines available for inspection in 2013. MSHA notes that 16,272 regular inspections were completed, but inspectors could not conduct another 437 regular inspections due to the number of intermittent operations.
The data is based on information currently available. MSHA says it will release final 2013 data in July.