The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reports that 27 mining fatalities occurred in 2018 – the second lowest number ever recorded.
Eighteen fatalities occurred at surface operations; nine occurred in underground mines. Approximately 250,000 miners work across 12,000 U.S. metal/nonmetal mines, and 83,000 miners work in the nation’s 1,200 coal mines.
The leading cause of fatalities was powered haulage, which accounted for 13 fatalities or 48 percent of the annual total. MSHA has taken action to counter powered haulage fatalities, including publishing a Request for Information seeking stakeholder input on technologies and practices that can improve safety conditions related to mobile equipment and belt conveyors. MSHA also launched a campaign to educate miners and mine operators on the hazards associated with such equipment.