Deaths in U.S. mines hit new low in 2016

| Mar 10, 2017 | Workplace Injuries |

Louisiana readers may be interested to learn that work-related mining deaths hit a record low in 2016, according to preliminary data released by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. There are around 330,000 miners currently working in America’s 13,000 mines.

The report indicates 25 miners died on the job in 2016, which is down from 29 the previous year. That figure is the lowest number of mining fatalities ever reported. Nine of the deaths occurred in coal mines. The most common causes of death for these victims were powered haulage and machinery, which claimed the lives of six miners. In comparison, 15 coal miners died on the job in 2015.

Sixteen miners died in metal and nonmetal mines last year. The most common causes of death were machinery accidents, which killed four miners, and powered haulage, which killed three. Seventeen miners died in metal and nonmetal mines in 2015.

The government credits the drop in deaths with the use of strategic enforcement tools, including targeted impact inspections, controlling chronic violators, special initiatives aimed at the prevention of common accidents, compliance assistance, training and outreach. The mining industry has also improved compliance measures.

Miners injured in a workplace accident may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, which provides financial assistance while one is unable to work. A worker may find it helpful to consult with an attorney before filing their claim to ensure that all the needed documentation is included and all deadlines are met. If a worker has had a claim denied, an attorney could review the case and help file an appeal.