Highwall mining continues to grow in importance as a coal production method from U.S. surface mines. It may account for as much as 4% of the total U.S. coal production, according to one recent estimate. Analysis of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) accident and injury statistics shows that, overall, highwall mining has maintained an admirable safety record. Its fatality and injury rates are comparable to those for other surface mining methods, and are significantly lower than those for underground mining. No mining method is risk free, however. Highwall mining injuries have been associated with handling materials, slips and falls, machinery, powered haulage, and other types of incidents. But perhaps the greatest risk, to both personnel and equipment, is from ground control. The two most significant ground control hazards are rock falls, from the highwall and equipment entrapment underground.