Seven fatalities occurred in the mining industry between July 1 and Sept. 30, according to a report from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The third quarter report findings show the fewest coal deaths ever recorded in a fiscal year.
Last year, 14 miners died on the job in coal mines, down from 18 deaths the previous year. In metal and nonmetal mining, 23 miners died last year, six fewer than the previous year.
"These deaths remind us why we must continue our vigilance and ensure effective safety and health programs are at work throughout the industry," said Joseph Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health. "The hard-working men and women of the mining industry deserve no less."
Fatal mining accidents in the third quarter include:
- A 29-year-old electrician at a Kentucky coal mine died while replacing a load-locking valve on the cutter head jack of a continuous mining machine. The cutter head collapsed, fatally crushing the miner.
- A 58-year-old bulldozer operator at an Alabama coal mine was found lying unconscious next to a bulldozer. Mine personnel administered first aid immediately and continued medical treatment until emergency personnel arrived. The miner received an airlift to the hospital, but died from his injuries nine days later.
- A 26-year old miner died after the forward end of a drill steel struck him while traveling up a slope at an underground Nevada gold mine. The drill steel struck a rib, causing it to push back toward the drill operator.
- A 50-year-old superintendent drowned at an Ohio sand and gravel dredging operation. The victim and one other miner were attempting to dislodge a clam shell bucket from the bottom of the pond when the dredge capsized. The injured miner swam to shore and summoned assistance; his co-worker's body was recovered eight days later.
- An 18-year-old seasonal worker died at a Virginia granite mine when the silo he was standing under collapsed and buried him beneath falling material.
- A 64-year-old miner operating a front-end loader died working on a 35-foot high stockpile at a North Dakota sand and gravel operation. When the miner exited the loader, the stockpile slope failed and engulfed him.
- A 25-year-old contractor died at a Georgia kaolin processing plant after he entered a rail car alone to wash out residual product. He was later found unresponsive, still inside the rail car.