Mining Publication: Coal Contractor Mining Facts - 2006
The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) defines an independent contractor as any person, partnership, corporation, subsidiary of a corporation, firm, association or other organization that contracts to perform services or construction at a mine. Contractors that perform specific types of work are required to report the number of employees who work at coal mines and noncoal mines. Companies: In 2006, a total of 2,724 contracting companies reported employment at coal mines to MSHA, or 36.8% of all independent contracting companies. Employees: A total of 37,282 employees, corresponding to 23,078 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported by coal contractors to MSHA. Within the mining sectors, coal contractor employees comprised 7.0% of all employee hours reported to MSHA. Coal contractor employee hours were reported for both underground (12.6%) and surface (87.4%) work locations. Fatalities: Five occupational fatalities occurred among coal contractor employees in 2006. These coal fatalities accounted for 41.7% of all contractor fatalities. The coal contractor fatality rate was 22.7 fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. The underground fatality rate was 34.4 (n=1) compared to a rate of 20.9 (n=4) for surface work locations. Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: There were 557 nonfatal lost-time injuries among coal contractor employees (215 at underground and 342 at surface work locations) occurring at a rate of 2.5 injuries per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 27,332 days lost from work. The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the surface injury rate (7.4 vs. 1.8 per 100 FTE workers). The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries for coal contractor employees involved handling materials (n=166; 29.8%), followed by slip or fall of person (n=122; 21.9%). Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=187; 33.6%). The back was the most frequently reported body part injured (n=74; 13.3%) and accounted for 3,716 days lost from work.