To determine the most frequent causes of accidents in mine blasting, the Bureau of Mines analyzed blasting accident data obtained from the Mine Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. Accident totals from 1971 through 1981 are tabulated for metal- nonmetal and coal mines both surface and underground. In the past 11 yr (1971-81 inclusive) there has been an annual average of 9 fatal and 121 nonfatal blasting accident victims. Underground mining averaged 6 fatal and 93 nonfatal injuries each year. Most accidents occurred during scheduled blasting, and failure of the blast area security system was the leading cause. Blast area security problems were failure to clear the blast zone, failure of personnel to follow instructions, inadequate guarding, and failure to retreat to a safe location or take adequate cover.
Soc. Explos. Eng., V. 9, 1983, PP. 105-122