ELKO — Mines in the United States set another record low fatality rate in 2012, according to preliminary data released Monday by the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The fatality rate was .0107 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. The rate of reported injuries was 2.56 per 200,000 hours worked. Both reductions replace the prior year’s record historical low rates.
“These preliminary numbers clearly show that actions undertaken by MSHA and the mining industry continue to move mine safety in the right direction, with improvements in compliance with the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, and a reduction in injury and fatality rates,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
Nevada had one mining fatality, the same number as in 2011. Allen Campbell, 49, was killed Aug. 31 after falling through a hole that had developed beneath bridged material in an open stope at Newmont Mining Corp.’s Exodus gold mine.
In metal and nonmetal mining, the record-low fatality rate was .0080 deaths per 200,000 hours worked. Sixteen miners died in on-the-job accidents, equaling the record low set in 2011.
The reported injury rate of 2.19 per 200,000 hours worked also was a record low. Citations and orders issued dropped from 63,601 in 2011 to 60,680 in 2012, a 5 percent reduction. While the number of metal and nonmetal mines remained steady in 2012, at 12,193, the number of miners increased from 237,772 in 2011 to 250,310 in 2012.
In coal mining, 19 miners died in on-the-job accidents in 2012, the second lowest number ever. The fatality rate was .0151 deaths per 200,000 hours worked, also the second lowest ever recorded.
“MSHA at a Glance,” with updated information on inspections, violations, mines and miners, as well as injury and fatality rates, is available on the agency’s website, http://
www.msha.gov, under “Fact Sheets.”