Mining Publication: Statistical Profile of Accidents at Small Underground Coal Mines
The U.S. Bureau of Mines prepared this paper to provide statistical information on accidents, production, and employment at small U.S. underground coal mines. Mines are categorized according to size as follows: fewer than 20 employees, 20 to 50 employees, 50 to 100 employees, and more than 100 employees. For each size category, statistics are presented showing the following: (1) the number of mines and the States in which they are located; (2) changes in employment, production, and rates of fatal and permanently disabling accidents between two periods (1978-80 and 1989-91); and (3) rates of coal production and rates of various types of serious accidents. The five States with the largest number of small underground coal mines are Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Statistics are presented to show how various sizes of mines in these 5 States compare with one another in terms of safety and productivity. Statistics are also presented showing how miners who are injured while working at mines of various sizes compare in terms of age and experience. Several propositions about why small mines have higher fatality rates are reviewed.