Mining Facts - 2007 (HTML)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009–157
In 2007, a total of 14,871 mining operations reported employment data to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).  Almost half (48.4%) were sand and gravel mines, followed by stone mines (31.2%), coal mines (13.7%), nonmetal mines (4.9%), and metal mines (1.9%).
There were 271,414 mine operator employees,  or 275,871 full-time equivalent (FTE)  workers. For mine operators, 18.9% of the employee hours were for underground work locations, while 81.1% of the employee hours were for surface work locations. 
Of the 106,709 independent contractor employees (or 60,892 FTE workers), 36.4% were coal contractor employees and 63.6% were noncoal contractor employees.
|Commodity and Type|
|Sand and Gravel Operator||75.0||78.9||78.1||77.0||75.3||74.8||76.6||78.4||79.6||76.7|
In 2007, there were 67 occupational mining fatalities, compared to 73 in 2006. The overall fatality rate was 21.9 per 100,000 FTE workers.
- The fatality rate for mine operator employees was 19.7 per 100,000 FTE workers (n=49; 73.1%), while the rate for contractor employees was 31.3 (n=18; 26.9%).
- Noncoal contractors had the highest fatality rate (33.3), followed by coal operators (31.2), coal contractors (28.0), and metal operators (21.1) per 100,000 FTE workers.
- The fatality rate at underground work locations was 47.2 per 100,000 FTE workers (n=27; 40.3%) compared to the lower rate at surface locations of 16.1 (n=40; 59.7%).
Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries
There were 7,742 nonfatal lost-time injuries reported to MSHA in 2007 (2,645 at underground and 5,097 at surface work locations). These injuries occurred at an overall rate of 2.5 per 100 FTE workers and resulted in a total of 426,219 days lost from work. 
- The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the surface injury rate (4.6 vs. 2.0 per 100 FTE workers).
- The back continued to be the most frequently reported body part injured, accounting for 1,371 nonfatal lost-time injuries, 77,027 days lost from work, and 18.1 of all days lost.
- Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=3,310; 42.8%).
|Slip or fall of person||1,847||23.9|
|Fall of ground||469||6.1|
Mine operator characteristics, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Mining Operations ||Surface Mining Operations ||Total Mining Operations |
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||7,199||7,199|
Contractor characteristics, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Number of Companies|
Employment characteristics, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Employees ||Surface Employees ||
|Underground FTE Employees ||Surface FTE Employees ||Total FTE Employees |
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||45,761||45,761||Not applicable||38,340||38,340|
Mining Occupational Fatalities (per 100,000 FTE employees), 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Fatalities||Underground Fatality Rate||Surface Fatalities||Surface Fatality Rate||Fatalities||Fatality Rate|
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||Not applicable||5||15.0||5||15.0|
Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries (per 100 FTE employees), 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Injuries||Underground Injury Rate||Surface Injuries||Surface Injury Rate||Injuries||Injury Rate|
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||Not applicable||657||2.0||657||2.0|
Data source: Publicly released data files of employment and accident/injury/illness collected by MSHA under 30 CFR 50.
Notes: All analyses of accident data exclude office employees. Occupational fatalities exclude all cases under 17 years of age. Further statistical methodology is available on the NIOSH Internet. Data in the above tables may not add to totals shown because of independent rounding. Caution should be used when interpreting rates based on a small number of events.
- Mines at which only independent contractors were working did not show any employment and were not counted.
- Average number of employees working at individual mines during calendar quarters of active operations (includes office workers).
- Full-time equivalent employees computed using reported employee hours (2,000 hours = 1 FTE).
- Surface work locations include surface operations at underground mines, surface operations (strip or open pit), auger, culm banks, dredge, other surface operations, independent shops and yards, and mills or preparation plants.
- Includes actual days away from work and/or days of restricted work activity. For permanently disabling injuries only, statutory days charged by MSHA were used if they exceeded the total lost workdays.
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