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Coal and Metal/Nonmetal Mining Facts - 2008 (HTML)

DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011-170

Mining Operations

Data obtained from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicated 2,129 active coal (14.3%) and 12,778 metal/nonmetal (85.7%) mining operations. [1]

  • There were 26 states reporting coal mining operations. Approximately 73% of these mines were located in three states: Kentucky (n=656; 38.0%), West Virginia (n=479; 22.5%), and Pennsylvania (n=425; 20.0%).
  • Metal/nonmetal mines were distributed across all states, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands.  Texas reported the most metal/nonmetal mines (n=725, 5.7%).

Companies

In 2008, independent contracting companies reported employment at 3,467 coal mines and 6,128 metal/nonmetal mines.

Employees

A total of 133,827 mine operator and independent contractor employees, [2] or 126,500 full-time equivalent (FTE) [3] employees, were reported to MSHA as working at coal mines.  This is on contrast to 258,892 employees (or 214,120 FTE employees) who were reported as working at metal/nonmetal mines.

Graph of the number of employee hours by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations, 1999-2008 (see data table below)

Click on the image to enlarge.

Data for the previous chart showing the number of employee hours (in millions) by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations and year
Commodity and Type
of Employer
1999200020012002200320042005200620072008
Coal Operator 205.7 193.5 208.8 200.4 192.1 205.0 224.3 235.1 232.0 253.0
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 432.4 431.4 412.2 382.3 377.1 393.2 410.7 427.4 441.5 428.2

Fatalities

Of the 52 occupational mining fatalities reported to MSHA in 2008, 30 occurred at coal mining operations, while 22 occurred at metal/nonmetal mines.

  • The fatality rate of 24.8 [95% confidence interval (CI): 16.7, 35.3] per 100,000 FTE employees was higher at coal mining operations, compared to the rate of 11.6 [CI: 7.3, 17.6] for metal/nonmetal mines.

Chart of the number of occupational fatalities and rate (per 100,000 FTE employees) by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations and year (see data table below)

Click on the image to enlarge.

Data for the previous chart showing the number of occupational fatalities and rate (per 100,000 FTE employees) by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations and year
Commodity and Type
of Employer
1999200020012002200320042005200620072008
Coal Operator 35 38 42 27 30 28 22 47 34 30
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 55 47 30 39 26 27 35 26 33 22
Coal Rate 35.8 41.4 42.3 28.3 32.8 28.6 20.5 41.6 30.6 24.8
Metal/Nonmetal Rate 28.8 24.7 16.5 23.3 15.7 15.6 19.3 13.8 16.9 11.6

Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries

There were 3,352 nonfatal lost-time injuries reported at coal mining operations, resulting in 195,120 days lost from work. [4]  This compares to 3,996 nonfatal lost-time injuries attributed to metal/nonmetal mine workers with 187,090 days lost from work.

  • The coal mine nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the metal/nonmetal mine rate (2.8 [CI: 2.7, 2.9] vs. 2.1 [CI: 2.1, 2.2] per 100 FTE workers).
  • The most frequent accident classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries involved handling materials for both coal (n=947; 28.3%) and metal/nonmetal mines (n=1,353; 33.9%).
  • Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury for both coal (n=1,390; 41.5%) and metal/nonmetal (n=1,777; 44.5%) mining operations.

Chart of the number of nonfatal lost-time injuries and rate (per 100 FTE employees) by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations and year (see data table below)

Click on the image to enlarge.

Data for the previous chart showing the number of nonfatal lost-time injuries and rate (per 100 FTE employees) by coal and metal/nonmetal work locations and year
Commodity and Type
of Employer
1999200020012002200320042005200620072008
Coal Operator 4,983 4,781 4,572 4,518 3,763 3,601 3,597 3,578 3,402 3,352
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 6,001 6,058 5,377 4,840 4,559 4,538 4,713 4,410 4,340 3,996
Coal Rate 5.1 5.2 4.6 4.7 4.1 3.7 3.4 3.2 3.1 2.8
Metal/Nonmetal Rate 3.1 3.2 3.0 2.9 2.8 2.6 2.6 2.3 2.2 2.1

 

Mining operations, 2008

Commodity and Type of EmployerUnderground Mining Operations [1]Surface Mining Operations [1]Total Mining Operations [1]
Coal Operator 665 1,464 2,129
Coal Contractor Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Coal Total 665 1,464 2,129
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 260 12,518 12,778
Metal/Nonmetal Contractor Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable
Metal/Nonmetal Total 260 12,518 12,778
Total 925 13,982 14,907

 

 

Employment characteristics, 2008

Commodity and Type of EmployerUnderground Employees [2]Surface Employees [2]Total Employees [2]Underground FTE Employees [3]Surface FTE Employees [3]Total FTE Employees [3]
Coal Operator 40,370 49,685 90,055 45,866 54,312 100,178
Coal Contractor 6,262 37,510 43,772 4,105 22,216 26,321
Coal Total 46,632 87,195 133,827 49,971 76,528 126,500
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 10,298 173,143 183,441 10,596 163,438 174,034
Metal/Nonmetal Contractor 2,992 72,459 75,451 1,998 38,088 40,086
Metal/Nonmetal Total 13,290 245,602 258,892 12,594 201,526 214,120
Total 59,922 332,797 392,719 62,565 278,054 340,620

 

 

Mining Occupational Fatalities (per 100,000 FTE employees), 2008

Commodity and Type of EmployerUnderground InjuriesUnderground Injury RateSurface InjuriesSurface Injury RateTotal InjuriesTotal Injury Rate
Coal Operator 2,103 4.6 768 1.5 2,871 3.0
Coal Contractor 168 4.1 313 1.5 481 1.9
Coal Total 2,271 4.5 1,081 1.5 3,352 2.8
Metal/Nonmetal Operator 291 2.7 3,204 2.3 3,495 2.3
Metal/Nonmetal Contractor 38 1.9 463 1.3 501 1.3
Metal/Nonmetal Total 329 2.6 3,667 2.1 3,996 2.1
Total 2,600 4.2 4,748 1.9 7,348 2.4

Not calculated when N is less than 5. 95% CI for rates reported above. Totals may not sum due to independent rounding.

Data source: Publicly released employment and accident/injury/illness data 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. Caution should be used when interpreting rates based on a small number of events.

  1. Mines at which only independent contractors were working did not show any employment and were not counted.  The metal/nonmetal mining classification includes metal, nonmetal, stone, and sand and gravel mining sectors.
  2. Average number of employees working at individual mines during calendar quarters of active operations (includes office workers).
  3. Full-time equivalent employees computed using reported employee hours (2,000 hours = 1 FTE).
  4. 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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