Mining safety is on an upswing in recent years. Approximately 230,000 miners work across 11,500 metal/nonmetal mines in the U.S., while 64,000 work in the nation’s 1,000 coal mines. The mining sector employs 3.7 million+ workers worldwide.
In 2020, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) reported 29 mining fatalities, making it the sixth consecutive year that mining fatalities were below 30. Among those fatalities, five occurred in coal mines, a historic low.
MSHA inspected all underground mines at least four times per year and surface mines at least twice per year in 2020, in a year when 15 percent of inspectors self-identified as high-risk for the coronavirus under CDC guidelines. Between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, MSHA issued 195 citations for sanitary conditions that could have contributed to coronavirus.
The mining industry achieved its highest compliance with MSHA’s health standards, which protect the long-term health of miners. The year 2020 saw all-time-low average concentrations of respirable dust and respirable quartz in underground coal mines, as well as exposure to dust and quartz for miners at highest risk of overexposure to respirable dust.
To discover more about the mining industry's pain points in EHS and the solutions, as well as download our Insight Report, "Digging Deep to Discover Where and How Miners Are Being Hurt, read our blog.