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Independent Contractor Accident Trends In The Coal Mining Industry
  • Published Date:
    0/1/1900
Filetype[PDF - 661.28 KB]


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  • Description:
    Recent employment figures (taken from the Mine Safety and Health Administration's database) indicate that the number of independent contractor' employees working in the coal mining industry has doubled over the past ten years. As their numbers increase, they become a more visible segment of the industry. [ ] Increased exposure to mining hazards has also brought an increase in the number of fatalities involving independent contractor workers. One gauge that is traditionally used to evaluate the overall safety of an entity is the "number of fatalities." Over the five-year period from 1985-89, 27 independent contractor employees were fatally injured while working on coal mine property. This number increased to 45 fatalities during the subsequent five-year period from 1990-94. Nearly half of these fatalities (47%) were due to accidents involving powered haulage (See Table); 13% were electrical accidents; and 9% were machinery accidents. Combined, these three accident classifications accounted for 69% of all coal nine independent contractor fatalities. Information taken from fatality data is an important piece of the safety puzzle; however, other variables need to he examined in order to better define contributing factors associated with accidents. More specifically, information on trends in fatal and nonfatal accident and injury data is necessary before deciding what approach should be used to improve safety. In order to implement appropriate safety strategies, it is important for safety practitioners to examine all available lost time accident and injury information. The following coal industry data sites specific and present trends of independent contractor employees working in underground locations at coal mines, surface areas of underground coal mines, surface coal mines, and preparation plants. The data compares employment and accidents for time periods at the beginning and the end of a ten-year span from 1985 to 1994. Because the number of incidents involving independent contractors in certain accident categories during any one year may be small, three-year totals are used; the first three years (1985-87) of the ten-year period are compared with the last three years (1992-94). [ ]

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