MSHA: More Fatal Accidents in October for Metal and Nonmetal Mines

Published October 17, 2012

Over the last 12 years, the metal/nonmetal mining industry had more fatal accidents in October than any other month, according to an alert released this month by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The agency provides a list of best practices for preventing additional deaths, including tips related to mobile equipment, fall protection, lockout/tagout, and more. View the alert as a PDF.

MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph A. Main discussed metal/nonmetal outreach and safety and health improvements on the agency's website earlier this month. According to Main, MSHA's recent initiatives include:

  • The agency's "Rules to Live By" campaign, an initiative to prevent mining fatalities
  • A policy initiative on fall protection recognizing OSHA standards
  • Discussions with stakeholders and sharing of MSHA training prior to implementation
  • Efforts to improve communications with industry stakeholders
  • Efforts to improve consistency in enforcement

Main says that MSHA has achieved improved compliance based on these initiatives and cites new benchmarks related to mine safety. The 2011 injury/illness rates related to mining were the lowest recorded in history. In 2011, the fatal injury rate was .0084 for metal/nonmetal mines, compared with .0092 in 2009. The all-injury rate in 2011 was 2.28 compared with the next lowest rate in 2010 of 2.37. View these statistics on MSHA's website.

"I do believe we are moving mine safety in the right direction; let's keep it going that way," Main writes. View his full discussion on MSHA's website.