Mining Publication: An Analysis of Injury Claims From Low-Seam Coal Mines
This article provides an analysis of injury claims for eight mining companies operating low-seam coal mines during calendar years 1996-2008. All cost data were normalized using data on the cost of medical care (MPI) as provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The results of the analysis indicate that the knee was the body part that led in terms of claim cost ($4.2 million), followed by injuries to the lower back ($2.7 million). While the average cost per injury for these body parts was $13,100 and $14,400, respectively (close to the average cost of an injury overall), the high frequency of these injuries resulted in their preeminence in terms of cost. Analysis of data from individual mining companies suggest that knee and lower back injuries were a consistent problem across companies, as these injuries were each among the top five most costly part of body for seven out of eight companies studied. The results of this investigation also suggest that efforts to reduce the frequency of knee and low back injuries in low-seam mines have the potential to create substantial cost savings.