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Fatal And Nonfatal Injuries: MSHA Data; Injuries, Illnesses, And Hazardous Exposures In The Mining Industry,1986-1995: A Surveillance Report
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  • Description:
    This chapter presents an overview of fatal and nonfatal injuries reported to MSHA during 1986-1995. Reportable injuries follow the criteria for reporting specified in 30 CFR 50. These criteria are listed in appendix A. The data used for these analyses came from the MSHA accident, injury, and illness data closeout files for the years 1986-1995. The MSHA data are described in appendix A and methods used in data analysis in appendix B. There may be slight discrepancies between the figures presented here and other presentations of MSHA data for the following reasons: (1) injuries to nonemployees have been excluded from analysis; and (2) injuries identified by MSHA after the files were closed out are not included. Within the MSHA data, there are differences in reporting requirements for operators and contractors. Contractors are required to report only those injuries that occur during certain categories of work (described in appendix A). For this reason, data on injuries among employees of operators and contractors in the MSHA database should not be considered directly comparable. As discussed in the "Introduction," the MSHA data on fatal injuries differ from the CFOI data (chapter 1) because of varying definitions used for the mining industry. As compared to the CFOI data, MSHA data exclude injuries that occurred off of mine property and include injuries occurring at mills and processing plants on mine property. Tables 4-1 through 4-9 and figure 4-1 provide comparisons of injury frequencies and rates among the commodities. These comparisons are followed by sections 4A through 4E, which provide more detailed tables and figures for each commodity separately. The method used to calculate injury rates is described in appendix B. Since denominator data for occupations (lob titles) were available for 1986 only, estimates of rates by occupation for the entire 10 year period are based on extrapolation from 1986 data. For this reason, estimates of injury by occupation should be interpreted with caution. Fatal Injuries A total of 1,078 fatal on-the-job injuries were reported to MSHA during the 10-year period 1986- 1995. The average annual fatal injury rate for all commodities combined during this period was 30.9 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Mine operators accounted for 908 (84%) of the fatalities and had an average annual fatal injury rate of 28.2 per 100,000. While mine contractors comprised only 16% (n = 170) of the total number of fatalities, their average annual fatal injury rate was 2.3 times higher than that of mine operators (65.0 per 100,000). Table 4-1 presents the number and rates of fatal injuries by commodity for operators and contractors. Contractors in metal, nonmetal, stone, and sand and gravel are grouped together, since MSHA data on employment were not available for rate calculations for these commodities separately. The highest average annual fatality rate for the period, 66.5 per 100,000, occurred among metal and nonmetallic mineral mining contractors, followed closely by coal contractors (63.1 per 100,000). Among mine operators, the highest average annual fatal injury rate was in coal (38.9 per 100,000); the lowest was in nonmetal (14.3 per 100,000). Table 4-2 shows the average annual fatal injury rate by type of operation for each commodity for mine operators only. Of commodities with underground mines, all except stone had higher fatality rates at underground than at surface operations of these mines. The highest fatality rate for any operation occurred in surface operations at underground stone mines (124.5 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers). Stone had the second highest fatality rate for underground operations at underground mines (77.9 per 100,000). The highest rate for underground operations at underground mines occurred in metal (87.6 per 100,000). Table 4-3 shows the number and rate of fatal injuries by U.S. Bureau of the Census occupational groups (described in appendix D)

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