Mining Publication: Coal Operator Mining Facts - 2006
Mining Operations: In 2006, a total of 2,113 coal mining operations reported employment to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Coal mines comprised 14.2% of all mining operations. Bituminous mines comprised 92.5% (n=1,955) and anthracite mines 7.5% (n=158) of coal mining operations. Approximately 71.0% of all coal mines were located in three states: Kentucky (29.2%), West Virginia (21.8%), and Pennsylvania (20.3%). Employees: A total of 85,693 employees, corresponding to 94,495 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported by coal mine operators to MSHA. Within the mining sectors, coal operators comprised 28.5% of all employee hours reported. Underground work locations accounted for 45.1% of employee hours, while surface work locations accounted for 54.9%. Fatalities: Forty-two (42) occupational fatalities occurred among coal operator employees in 2006, compared to 17 in 2005. Fatalities among coal operator employees accounted for 57.5% of all mining fatalities. The coal operator fatality rate was 46.2 fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. The underground fatality rate was 84.5 (n=36) compared to a rate of 12.4 (n=6) for surface work locations. Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: There were 3,021 nonfatal lost-time injuries (2,218 at underground and 803 at surface work locations) among coal operator employees occurring at a rate of 3.3 injuries per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 198,688 days lost from work, comprising nearly 45.2% of days lost across all mining sectors. The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the surface injury rate (5.2 vs. 1.7 per 100 FTE workers). The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries for coal operator employees involved handling materials (n=855; 28.3%). Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=1,320; 43.7%). The back was the most frequently reported body part injured (n=604; 20.0%) and accounted for 46,227 days lost from work.