Noncoal Contractor Mining Facts - 2007 (HTML)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009–165
An independent contractor is defined by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) 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.
In 2007, a total of 5,400 contracting companies reported employment at noncoal mines to MSHA, or 64.3% of all independent contracting companies.
- Within the mining sectors,  noncoal contractor employees comprised 11.3% of all employee hours reported to MSHA.
- Noncoal contractor employee hours were reported for both underground (5.1%) and surface (94.9%) work locations. 
|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|
Twelve occupational fatalities occurred among noncoal contractor employees in 2007, accounting for 66.7% of all fatalities attributed to independent contractors.
- The noncoal contractor fatality rate for all work locations was 33.3 fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees.
Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries
There were 497 nonfatal lost-time injuries among noncoal contractor employees (43 at underground and 454 at surface work locations) with an overall rate of 1.4 injuries per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 22,290 days lost from work. 
- The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate for noncoal contractor employees was 2.2 per 100 FTE workers, while the surface rate was 1.3.
- The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries reported for noncoal contractor employees involved handling materials (n=190; 38.2%), followed by slips or falls (n=97; 19.5%).
- Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=179; 36.0%).
- In 2007, the most frequently reported body parts injured were the fingers (n=85; 17.1%; 5,462 days lost from work) and the back (n=75; 15.1%; 2,255 days lost from work).
|Slip or fall of person||97||19.5|
Mining operations, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Mining Operations||Surface Mining Operations||Total Mining Operations|
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||7,199||7,199|
Contracting companies, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Number of Companies|
Employment characteristics, 2007
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Employees ||Surface Employees ||Total 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.
- 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).
- Mining sectors include coal operators, metal operators, nonmetal operators, stone operators, sand and gravel operators, coal contractors, and noncoal contractors.
- Surface work locations include surface operations at underground mines, surface operations (strip or open pit), 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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- Page last reviewed: 2/19/2015
- Page last updated: 3/18/2014
- Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Mining Program