Commitment to Safety

MSHA’s Final 2012 Safety Data Confirms Mining’s
Record Low Fatality and Injury Rates

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) final statistics for 2012 confirm the U.S. achieved record low fatality and injury rates. According to MSHA, 36 mining employees died on the job during 2012, with 20 fatalities in coal mining operations and 16 in metal-nonmetal operations. The 2012 fatality rate for mining was .0110 deaths per 200,000 hours worked, while the total injury rate was 2.56. The agency also noted that it was the lowest rate of contractor fatalities since the agency began calculating those rates in 1983.

“While more needs to be done to protect the nation’s miners, we are moving mine safety in the right direction. The actions undertaken by MSHA and the mining community were the key to the continuing improvements we saw in 2012,” Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for MSHA, said. NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn agrees. “The final data for 2012 are a welcome demonstration of U.S. mining’s commitment to continuous improvement in mining safety performance, and we have more to do. NMA’s CORESafety® initiative provides a vital approach to mining safety and health and is designed to prevent accidents before they occur using a management system that involves leadership, management and assurance.” Its objective is to have zero fatalities and a 50 percent reduction in mining’s injury rate within five years.

Coal mining’s fatality rate was .0159 per 200,000 hours worked. The 2012 coal mining injury rate was 3.16. The coal industry also experienced a lower level of citations and orders – dropping from 63,472 in 2011 down to 60,520 in 2012.

The metal and nonmetal mining fatality rate was a record low .0079 deaths per 200,000 hours worked and the injury rate was a record low 2.19.