The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced mining fatalities dropped to its lowest number recorded with 24 deaths in the US in 2019.
David G. Zatezalo, assistant secretary for mine safety and health at MSHA says: “The low number of mining deaths last year demonstrates that mine operators have become more proactive in eliminating safety hazards. But I believe we can do even better. A disproportionate number of mining deaths involved contractors, and we saw an uptick in electrocution accidents, with three deaths and another two close calls. In response, the Mine Safety and Health Administration launched a targeted compliance assistance effort, visiting thousands of mines to educate miners, operators and contractors on procedures that could prevent accidents like these.”
MSHA says this is the fifth year in its history that mining fatalities were below 30. The administration is still reviewing two cases of possible chargeable fatalities, which is added would make the total in 2019 the second lowest number of fatalities ever recorded.
Findings revealed there were four deaths in Kentucky and West Virginia, two each in Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Texas and one each in Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Vermont.
In response to a two-year increase in 2017 and 2018 of deaths, MSHA launched an education campaign and initiated rule making. In 2019, power haulage accidents dropped to approximately 25% of all mining deaths.