There were 20 coal-mining fatalities in the US last year, according to data from the US Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Six of these occurred in Q4 2013, a marked increase compared to the same period in 2012 and a disappointing end to what had – up to then – been a year of record low fatality and injury rates.
Of the coal mining deaths, 14 occurred underground and six in surface operations. Nine states in all experience coal mining deaths with the most occurring in West Virginia, where six coal miners lost there lives. According to the MSHA, the most common cause of mining deaths – both in coal and other mines – involved machinery and powered haulage equipment.
“Mining deaths are preventable and those that occurred in 2013 are no exception,” said Joseph Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “As noted on our mid-year and Q3 fatality summaries, coal mining fatalities continue to occur that could have been prevented with proximity detection equipment […] This year four fatalities occurred that could have been prevented with proximity detection systems.”
As of December 2013, more than 380 proximity detection systems had been installed on continuous mining machines and other mobile equipment, according to MSHA data. Of those, 287 are on continuous mining machines and 100 are on other mobile equipment.
Adapted from press release by Jonathan Rowland
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcoal.com/mining/18022014/us_msha_reports_20_coal_mining_deaths_in_2013_coal530/