Report: APP CMHS Project 1




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2.6.2. Safety

Total number of coal mining fatalities from 1900 through 2010 was 104,718. The number of coal mine fatalities in USA from 1990 to 2010 is shown in Table 6.

Table 6 Coal fatality report, USA 1990-2010

Year

Fatalities

Year

Fatalities

1990

66

2001

42

1991

61

2002

28

1992

55

2003

30

1993

47

2004

28

1994

45

2005

23

1995

47

2006

47

1996

39

2007

34

1997

30

2008

30

1998

29

2009

18

1999

35

2010

44

2000

38





U.S. coal mine production reached the highest levels in history in recent years. In 2009 coal mining fatalities totalled a record low of 18. The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006 has given MSHA more tools to improve safety and health in American mines. MSHA continues to work to implement the legislation. Table 7 lists the relevant data on number of coal mines, production and safety records from 2003 to 2009.

Table 7 Production and safety data in coal mines, USA 2003-2009 (Source: MSHA)


2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

Number of coal mines

1316

1379

1415

1438

1374

1458

1450

Number of miners

104,824

108,734

116,436

122,975

122,936

133,827

133,433

Fatalities

30

28

23

47

34

30

18

Fatal injury rate1

.0312

.0273

.0205

.0400

.0293

.0237

.0149

All Injury rate1

5.38

5.00

4.62

4.46

4.21

3.89

3.67

States with coal mining

26

26

26

26

26

26

26

Coal production (millions of tons)

1,071

1,111

1,133

1,163

1,147

1,172

1,072

Total mining area inspection hours/mine

170

174

162

161

169

227

238

FY Inspection completion rate (%)

98.8

98.9

98.1

94.1

83.8

100

100

Citations and orders issued

56,700

64,449

69,072

77,727

84,431

107,404

102,660

S&S citations and orders (%)

39 %

41 %

39 %

39 %

36 %

35 %

34 %

Dollar amount assessed (Millions)

11.7

17.6

15.4

22.5

53.5

152.7

103.3



The rate of coal mining deaths decreased from about .20 fatalities per 200,000 hours worked by miners (or one death per million production hours) in 1970 to about .07 fatalities in 1977 and an average of .03 fatalities for the period of 2001-2005.

There was an all-time low 23 coal mining fatalities in 2005, compared to the previous all-time coal industry low of 28 in 2002.

Since 1970, coal production has increased 89 percent while fatal injuries have decreased by 81 percent (Figure 22).

  • Injuries have fallen by two-thirds in the last 16 years.

  • Over half of U.S. coal mines operate each year without a single lost work time injury.

  • According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, coal mining is not even among the top 10 most dangerous occupations in America. Pilots, truck and taxi drivers, loggers, fishermen, roofers and other occupations face greater on the job risks than coal miners.

Figure 22 US Safety Trends [Source MSHA]




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