Coal Operator Mining Facts - 2008 (HTML)
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2011–163
In 2008, a total of 2,129 coal mining operations reported employment to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).  Coal mines comprised 14.3% of all mining operations.
- Bituminous mines comprised 92.5% (n=1,970) and anthracite mines 7.5% (n=159) of coal mining operations.
- Approximately 73% of all coal mines were located in three states: Kentucky (n=656; 30.8%), West Virginia (n=479; 22.5%), and Pennsylvania (n=425; 20.0%).
- Within the mining sectors,  coal operations comprised 29.4% of all employee hours reported.
- Underground work locations accounted for 45.8% of employee hours, while surface work locations accounted for 54.2% .
|Commodity and Type|
|Sand and Gravel Operator||78.9||78.1||77.0||75.3||74.8||76.6||78.4||79.6||76.7||66.7|
Eighteen occupational fatalities occurred among coal operator employees in 2008, compared to 28 in 2007.
- Fatalities among coal operator employees accounted for 34.6% of all mining fatalities.
- The coal operator fatality rate was 18.7 [95% confidence interval (CI): 11.1, 29.5] fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. The underground fatality rate was 26.2 [CI: 13.5, 45.7] (n=12) compared to a rate of 11.9 [CI: 4.4, 25.9] (n=6) for surface work locations.
Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries
There were 2,871 nonfatal lost-time injuries (2,103 at underground and 768 at surface work locations) among coal operator employees occurring at an overall rate of 3.0 [CI: 2.9, 3.1] injuries per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 171,021 days lost from work  comprising 44.7% of days lost across all mining sectors.
- The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the surface injury rate (4.6 [CI: 4.4, 4.8] vs. 1.5 [CI: 1.4, 1.6] per 100 FTE workers).
- The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries for coal operator employees involved handling material (n=816; 28.4%).
- Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=1,230; 42.8%).
- The back was the most frequently reported body part injured (n=472; 16.4%) and accounted for 28,329 days lost from work.
|Slip or fall of person||22.7|
|Fall of ground||11.8|
Mining operations, 2008
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Mining Operations ||Surface Mining Operations ||Total Mining Operations |
|Sand & Gravel||Not applicable||7,132||7,132|
Contracting companies, 2008
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Number of Companies|
Employment characteristics, 2008
|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||42,307||42,307||Not applicable||33,343||33,343|
Mining Occupational Fatalities (per 100,000 FTE employees), 2008
|Commodity and Type of Employer||Underground Fatalities||Underground Fatality Rate||Surface Fatalities||Surface Fatality Rate||Fatalities||Fatality Rate|
|Metal Operator||3||Not calculated||2||Not calculated||5||13.8|
|Nonmetal Operator||1||Not calculated||1||Not calculated||2||Not calculated|
|Stone Operator||1||Not calculated||6||9.4||7||10.6|
|Sand & Gravel Operator||Not applicable||Not applicable||3||Not calculated||3||Not calculated|
|Coal Contractor||3||Not calculated||9||43.4||12||48.3|
|Noncoal Contractor||0||Not calculated||5||13.9||5||13.2|
|Contractor Total||3||Not calculated||14||24.7||17||27.1|
Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries (per 100 FTE employees), 2008
|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||550||1.9||550||1.9|
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 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. 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).
- 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), 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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- Page last reviewed: 3/2/2015
- Page last updated: 3/27/2014
- Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Mining Program