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Underground and surface mining facts - 2007.

Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-158, 2009 Aug; :1-2
Mining Operations: Data obtained from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) indicated a total of 889 underground (6.0%) and 13,982 surface (94.0%) mining operations. Employees: A total of 55,617 employees, or 57,222 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, were reported to MSHA as working at underground mining locations in 2007. This is in contrast to 322,506 employees (or 279,541 FTE employees) that were reported as working at surface locations. 1. Surface work location employee hours accounted for 83.0% of all hours reported to MSHA, while 17.0% of employee hours were reported for underground work locations. 2. The majority of surface employee hours were for mine operator employees (80.0%) as opposed to independent contractor employees (20.0%). 3. Coal operators were the mining sector5 reporting the most underground worker employee hours to MSHA (n=84,475,287; 73.8%). Fatalities: Of the 67 occupational mining fatalities reported to MSHA in 2007, 27 occurred at underground work locations, while 40 occurred at surface locations. 1. The fatality rate of 47.2 per 100,000 FTE employees was higher at underground work locations, compared to the rate of 16.1 for surface work locations. Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: Within underground work locations, 2,645 nonfatal lost-time injuries were reported, resulting in 170,584 lost workdays. This compares to 5,097 nonfatal lost-time injuries attributed to surface workers (total days lost = 255,635). 1. The overall underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate was greater than the surface injury rate (4.6 vs. 2.0 per 100 FTE workers). 2. The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries involved handling materials for both underground (n=719; 27.2%) and surface (n=1,773; 34.8%) work locations. 3. The back was the most frequently reported body part injured at both underground (n=414; 15.7%) and surface (n=957; 18.8%) work locations.
Mine-workers; Miners; Mining-industry; Employees; Stone-mines; Coal-mining; Nonmetal-mining; Coal-miners; Lost-work-days; Injuries; Back-injuries; Hearing-loss; Hearing-impairment; Black-lung; Pneumoconiosis; Statistical-analysis; Sand-and-gravel-mines; Surface-mining; Materials-handling; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Respiratory-system-disorders; Lung-disease; Lung-disorders; Underground-mining; Underground-miners
NIOSH Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
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DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2009-158
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division