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MSHA: 27 miners died last year, second fewest on record

January 15, 2019

Arlington, VA — Twenty-seven miners died on the job in 2018, one fewer than in 2017 and the second lowest total recorded by the Mine Safety and Health Administration since it began publishing such data more than a century ago, the agency announced Jan. 9.

Of the workers killed, 15 were metal and nonmetal miners and 12 were coal miners. Eighteen of the deaths took place at surface operations, while nine were in underground mines.

Powered haulage was linked to 13 fatalities, slightly less than half the total. MSHA states that its measures to reduce hazards from this equipment have included a Request for Information on possible technology changes, as well as a public education campaign.

In 2016, 25 miners died in work-related incidents, an all-time low. Annual miner fatalities have fallen to fewer than 30 for four straight years after reaching 46 in 2014.

According to MSHA, about 250,000 miners work in 12,000 metal and nonmetal mines nationwide, and 83,000 miners work in 1,200 U.S. coal mines.