A 2020 look at mining safety in the U.S.

More than 13,000 mines are active across the U.S. Each day, more than 300,000 miners who drive the country’s economy, are exposed to significant risks, ranging from heavy equipment collisions to slip and fall incidents. However, U.S. mines are trending towards a reduction in serious and fatal accidents. Better yet, more advanced safety solutions are available to miners.

Recent mining fatalities

In 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released its annual report regarding mining-related fatalities. It noted that, for 2018, the 27 mining fatalities represented the second lowest figure since records were kept. For perspective, there are about 250,000 mine workers at metal and non-metal mines, and about 83,000 workers in coal mines.

Of the fatalities, 18 occurred at surface mining operations; the remainder in underground mines. The report listed powered haulage as the most common cause of mining fatalities in 2018.

Mining safety violation patterns

Pattern of Violations (POV) is one of the provisions laid down by the 1977 Federal Mine Safety and Health Act. The MSHA is responsible for determining if a mine meets the POV criteria. In late 2019, the MSHA reported that no mine had received the POV label. This was the fifth consecutive year that no mine was designated as a repeat safety violator.

Hexagon believes that mining safety demands ongoing, continual improvements. The market-leading HxGN MineProtect safety portfolio includes operator alertness and collision avoidance systems. Our operator alertness system for light vehicles recently won Mining Magazine’s 2019 Safety award.

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