Mining Deaths Down in the U.S.

January 7, 2015


There were fewer deaths in U.S. coal mines in 2014.


That's the word from the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration. The federal mining agency said this week that the nation's coal mines set a record this for the lowest number of on-the-job fatalities, with 16.


That's two fewer deaths than the 18 deaths that occurred in the U.S. in 2009. The agency says the 16 deaths are the lowest annual number of coal mining deaths ever recorded.


49 miners died in mines worldwide in 2014. This includes metal and non-metal operations.


Officials say the most common causes of mine deaths of 2014 involved moving machinery and heavy equipment. Ten such fatalities occurred in coal mines, while eight deaths took place in metal and non-metal mining locations.


West Virginia had the most coal-related deaths in 2014, with five. There were two deaths each in Wyoming, Kentucky and Virginia. Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Montana and Utah each saw one death in those states.


There are some connections between the number of people working as coal miners and coal mining deaths. The number of coal mines in the U.S. dropped to 1,701 in 2014, down from 1,944 in 2010. Coal mine employment is down drastically in some areas in recent years. This means there are now fewer miners working in underground mines. Six of the 16 deaths that took place in the U.S. took place at underground mines in Virginia and West Virginia.


Despite fewer mines and fewer new jobs, nationwide coal employment numbers are similar to what they were in the early part of the last decade.


This points to the increase of safety in the mining industry. And high quality mining equipment certainly helps contribute to safety. Contact A.M. King today to find out more.