January 8, 2018
The metal/nonmetal mining industry saw a total of 13 fatalities in 2017, an all-time low, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), Elko Daily Free Press reports. One of the fatalities occurred underground because of fall material, the others happened at surface mines. Six of these were caused by powered haulage, three were from falls/slide of material, two involved machinery, and one was electrical.
“Every number, no matter how small, represents a person and their family — as an industry, we don’t forget the loss of our colleagues,” the Nevada Mining Association stated, according to the news agency. “2017’s safety statistics are a noteworthy accomplishment, especially given the millions of hours miners in Nevada and throughout the U.S. worked in the hard rock mining industry, and serve to intensify our focus on making sure every miner goes home safely every day.”
“It is important for miners to stay vigilant, because there is rarely just one person responsible for an injury or death,” Dr. Thomas “Ted” Boyce, president and senior consultant with the Center for Behavioral Safety LLC, said, according to the news agency. “When a mine operator develops a culture where individual workers feel empowered to point out problems and raise concerns about each other’s safety AND management judiciously acts on these concerns, injuries and deaths are prevented.”