Federal agencies Mining, oil and gas

MSHA: 18 miners died in first half of 2013

Arlington, VA – A total of 18 miners have died on the job this year as of June 30, according to new data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

That figure is one fewer than last year’s midyear count. MSHA said the deaths were evenly split among coal and metal/non-metal mines. The causes of coal mining deaths included machinery, powered haulage incidents, roof falls and an exploding vessel. In metal and non-metal mines, miners died in incidents involving falling material, machinery, explosives and powered haulage trucks.

In a July 31 letter to the mining community, MSHA administrator Joseph A. Main stated that proximity detection devices could help prevent miners from being crushed by mobile machinery. He also stressed the importance of following lockout/tagout procedures, noting that two of the metal and non-metal mining deaths this year could have been prevented by disconnecting the power and making sure it was off.