MSHA: Mining Deaths Drop to Historic Lows

By |  October 13, 2016

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) released data that reveals fiscal year 2016 was the safest year in mining history.

According to MSHA, from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 30, 2016, a record low of 24 deaths occurred at more than 13,000 mines nationwide, the lowest total since 24 deaths in fiscal year 2013.

“These numbers represent nearly a 30 percent drop since fiscal year 2013,” says Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for MSHA, at the association’s annual Training Resources Applied to Mining conference. “The extensive efforts by MSHA and the mining community that held metal and nonmetal mining deaths to three during a 7-month period were instrumental in driving these numbers.”

MSHA reports that it has been ramping up enforcement, outreach and compliance assistance actions. MSHA has also been urging industry stakeholders to reinvigorate their efforts to reverse the trend in mining deaths.

During the conference, Main also noted the efforts to lower levels of respirable coal mine dust and silica in the nation’s coal mines have remained on track. Since the “End Black Lung – Act Now” campaign launched in 2009, average respirable dust levels have decreased annually. MSHA adds that dust sampling results for fiscal year 2016, collected under the respirable coal dust rule that went info effect in August 2014, dropped to historic lows.