Mining Deaths Drop to New Low in 2001

Jan. 7, 2002
Despite a year that saw 13 miners die in an explosion in September 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources No. 5 Mine in Brookwood, Ala., fatal injuries at mines declined to a historic new low last year.

Preliminary data released by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicates that 72 miners died while on the job in 2001, 13 fewer that in 2000 and the lowest figure on record.

"A good year would be zero fatalities, because even one death is unacceptible," admitted MSHA Administrator Dave D. Lauriski. "We must keep working together to reduce mine accidents in 2002."

Last year, Lauriski challenged mine operators and employees to reduce mine accidents by 15 percent each year. "Preliminary numbers indicate that the mining industry met that challenge in 2001," he added.

The nation's metal and nonmetal mining sector set a historic low record with 30 fatalities for 2001, compared with 47 in 2000. The previous low for that sector of the mining industry was 40, set in 1994. The metal and nonmetal mining sector produces metals such as copper and gold, and minterals such as salt, stone, sand and gravel.

Lauriski praised that industry sector saying, "The metal and nonmetal mining industry has shown what can be done."

The decreases logged by the metal and nonmetal sector were slightly offset by an increase of four fatalities in the coal sector. Deaths in that sector climbed to 42 in 2001. Had the Brookwood explosion not occured, there would have been 29 deaths in the coal sector, a decrease of nine from the 2000 total of 38.

"The Brookwood accident was heartbreaking because miners lost their lives in a heroic attempt to save the lives of others," said Lauriski. "We will determine the cause and share the information with everyone in the mining industry to help prevent future tragedies."

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

Sponsored Recommendations

Free Webinar: ISO 45001 – A Commitment to Occupational Health, Safety & Personal Wellness

May 30, 2024
Secure a safer and more productive workplace using proven Management Systems ISO 45001 and ISO 45003.

ISO 45003 – Psychological Health and Safety at Work

May 30, 2024
ISO 45003 offers a comprehensive framework to expand your existing occupational health and safety program, helping you mitigate psychosocial risks and promote overall employee...

DH Pace, national door and dock provider, reduces TRIR and claims with EHS solution

May 29, 2024
Find out how DH Pace moved from paper/email/excel to an EHS platform, changing their culture. They reduced TRIR from 4.8 to 1.46 and improved their ability to bid on and win contracts...

Case Study: Improve TRIR from 4+ to 1 with EHS Solution and Safety Training

May 29, 2024
Safety training and EHS solutions improve TRIR for Complete Mechanical Services, leading to increased business. Moving incidents, training, and other EHS procedures into the digital...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!