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. 2011-169, 2011 Mar; :1-2
An independent contractor is defined by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) as "any person, partnership, corporation, subsidiary of a corporation, firm, association or other organization that contracts to perform services or construction at a mine." Contractors that perform specific types of work are required to report the number of employees who work at coal mines and noncoal mines. Companies: In 2008, a total of 6, 128 independent contracting companies reported employment at noncoal mines, or 63.9% of all independent contracting companies. Employees: A total of 75 ,451 employees, corresponding to 40,086 full-time equivalent (FTE)' employees, were reported by noncoal contractors. 1. Within the mining sectors, noncoal contractor employees comprised 11.8% of all employee hours reported to MSHA. 2. Noncoal contractor employee hours were reported for both underground (5.0%) and surface (95 .0%) work locations. Fatalities: Five occupational fatalities occurred among noncoal contractor employees in 2008, accounting for 29.4% of all fatalities attributed to independent contractors. 3. The noncoal contractor fatality rate for all work locations was 13 .2 [95% confidence interval (CI): 4.3, 30.8] fatalities per 100,000 FTE employees. Nonfatal Lost-time Injuries: There were 501 nonfatal lost-time injuries among noncoal contractor employees (38 at underground and 463 at surface work locations) with an overall rate of 1.3 [CI: 1.2, 1.4] injuries per 100 FTE employees. These injuries resulted in 20,902 days lost from work. 1. The underground nonfatal lost-time injury rate for noncoal contractor employees was 1.9 [CI: 1.3, 2.6], while the surface rate was 1.3 [CI: 1.2, 1.4] per 100 FTE workers. 2. The most frequent classification of nonfatal lost-time injuries reported for noncoal contractor employees involved handling materials (n=169; 33.7%), followed by slip or fall of person (n=132; 26.3%). 3. Sprains and strains were the most frequently reported nature of injury (n=161; 32.1 %). 4. In 2008, the most frequently reported body parts injured were the fingers (n=93; 18.6%; 3,683 days lost from work) and the back (n=71; 14.2%; 2,868 days lost from work).