Coal mining fatalities in the United States decreased during the second quarter of 2000 compared with the same period in 1999, while non-coal mining fatalities increased, according to figures released today by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
Sixteen coal miners died in accidents on-the-job through June of this year, down from 17 through the end of the second quarter of 1999.
A total of 35 coal miners died in accidents during calendar year 1999.
In metal and nonmetal mining or non-coal mining, 29 miners were victims of fatal accidents through June of this year, an increase from the 23 reported for the same period in 1999.
Fifty-five metal and nonmetal miners died on the job in 1999.
"Mining fatalities have decreased significantly in the last 25 years," said Davitt McAteer, MSHA administrator. "However, these numbers show that much work remains to be done to rid this industry of hazards that threaten those who earn their living in the nation''s mines. Unfortunately, this year we are on a pattern which will reach last year''s level which was 10 fatalities more than 1998. What we need to be doing is reaching new record-low levels, and eliminating death from these mines."
The rate of fatal injuries in coal mining was .033 per 200,000 employee work hours during the second quarter of 2000, the same as the second quarter of 1999.
The rate of nonfatal coal mining injuries involving lost work time during the second quarter of 2000 was 4.63 injuries per 200,000 employee hours, up from 4.58 in the same period of 1999, and 4.60 for all of 1999.
The rate for all types of injuries in coal mining was 6.18 per 200,000 work hours, compared with 6.60 for the same period in 1999, and 6.10 for all of 1999.
The rate of fatal injuries in metal and nonmetal mining rose to .027 per 200,000 employee work hours from the .022 for the second quarter of 1999.
The rate of nonfatal, lost time injuries at metal and nonmetal mines was 2.64 for the second quarter of 2000, compared to 2.75 for the same period of 1999 and 2.66 for the entire year.
The rate for all types of metal and nonmetal mining injuries for the second quarter of this year was 4.19, compared to 4.32 for the same period of 1999 and 4.19 for all of last year.
Additional information on mining injuries will be published in "Mine Injuries and Work Time, Quarterly, January-June 2000," available from MSHA in the coming months.
More information concerning mine safety and health can be found at the agency''s Web site at www.msha.gov.
by Virginia Sutcliffe