In 2003, a total of 734 nonmetal mining operations reported employment to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Examples of nonmetal mining operations include, but are not limited to, the mining of clay, shale, barite, potash, trona, phosphate rock, rock salt, gypsum, talc, gemstones, mica, perlite, and pumice. A total of 19,333 employees, corresponding to 20,314 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported by nonmetal operators to MSHA. This is a 1% decrease in the number of FTE nonmetal operator employees from 2002. There were two work-related fatalities in nonmetal mines in 2003, compared to zero in 2002. There were 506 nonfatal lost-time injuries among nonmetal mine employees, occurring at a rate of 2.5 per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 22,125 days lost from work. Thirty-six cases of occupational illness were reported to MSHA for nonmetal mine employees.
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236