A survey of injuries in underground coal mines was conducted. The purpose of the survey was to compare the incidence of injuries in mines using diesel equipment and those not using diesel equipment. Injury reports collected by the Mine Safety and Health Administration from six diesel equipped mines and three neighboring nondiesel mines over a 4 year period were reviewed. The total injury incidence expressed as injuries per 100 underground full time equivalent workers (100FTE) were 10.5 injuries per 100FTE in the diesel and 11.20 injuries per 100FTE in the non/diesel mines. The incidence of fatalities was 0.25 fatalities per 100FTE in the diesel and 0.04 fatalities per 100FTE in the nondiesel mines. The higher fatality rate for the diesel mines was due to a roof fall that was unrelated to diesel use. The incidence of injuries not resulting in lost working days was 2.53 per 100FTE in diesel mines versus 3.66 per 100FTE for non/diesel mines; however, 75.9O percent of the injuries in diesel mines resulted in lost working days, compared with 67.32 percent of the injuries in non/diesel mines. The injury rate per million tons of clean coal mined was 18.66 in the diesel mines and 36.28 in the nondiesel mines. The authors note that the injury data do not confirm the notion that diesel mines are safer than nondiesel mines. Caution should be exercised when interpreting these data since the data represent early United States experience with diesel units in underground coal mines and do not take into account the different types of mining equipment used. Additional accident and injury research is necessary.
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