Mining Operations: In 2005, a total of 4,490 stone mining operations reported employment to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Stone mines comprised 30.6% of all mining operations. Mines producing the primary commodity of limestone (crushed and broken) comprised the largest number of operations (n=2,039; 45.4%). Stone mining operations were located in all states and territories except Delaware and North Dakota. Of all states, Pennsylvania had the most stone mines (n=379; 8.4%). Employees: A total of 69,759 employees, corresponding to 73,650 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported to MSHA by stone mine operators in 2005. This was a 3.5% increase in the number of FTE stone operator employees from 2004. Within the mining sectors, stone mine operator employees accounted for 25.5% of all employee hours reported. Stone operator employee hours were reported for both underground (2.9%) and surface (97.1%) work locations. Fatalities: There were 15 occupational fatalities among stone mine operator employees in 2005. The stone mine operator fatality rate for all work locations was 20.4 fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: There were 2,265 nonfatal lost-time injuries (60 at underground and 2,205 at surface work locations) among stone operator employees occurring at a rate of 3.1 injuries per 100 FTE employees. A total of 99,946 days lost from work resulted from these injuries. The nonfatal lost-time injury rate was 2.8 for underground work locations and 3.1 for surface. The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries for stone operator employees involved handling materials (n=850; 37.5%). Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=1,033; 45.6%). The back was the most frequently reported body part (n=464; 20.5%) and accounted for 18,224 days lost from work.
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236