Mining Operations: In 2005, a total of 7,111 sand and gravel mining operations reported employment to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Sand and gravel mines were the largest mining sector, comprising 48.5% of all mining operations. Sand and gravel mines were found throughout all 50 states and Puerto Rico. Employees: A total of 37,705 employees, corresponding to 34,258 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported by sand and gravel mine operators. Within the mining sectors, sand and gravel mine operator employees accounted for 11.9% of all employee hours reported to MSHA. Fatalities: Nine occupational fatalities occurred among sand and gravel operator employees in 2005. This compared to eight fatalities in 2004. The sand and gravel mine operator fatality rate was 26.3 fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. In 2005, 33.3% of the sand and gravel fatalities occurred to employees with the MSHA job title of "laborer/utility man/bull gang." Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: There were 841 nonfatal lost-time injuries among sand and gravel operator employees occurring at a rate of 2.5 injuries per 100 FTE employees. A total of 51,043 days lost from work resulted from these injuries. The most frequent classifications of nonfatal lost-time injuries for sand and gravel operator employees involved handling materials (n=272; 32.3%) and slip or fall of person (n=243; 28.9%). Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=369; 43.9%). The back was the most frequently reported body part injured (n=158; 18.8%), followed by fingers (n=114; 13.6%). Back injuries represented 7,765 days lost from work; finger injuries represented 3,239 days lost.
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236