January 29, 2013
Fatal injuries in the mining industry declined throughout the 20th century. Since BLS began collecting fatal injury data in 1992, there have been no more than 60 fatal injuries in coal mining in any given year and fewer than 200 fatal injuries per year for all workers in the mining industry as a whole. Despite such improvements, fatal injury rates in mining remain more than four times higher than the average for all industries. A total of 172 workers were killed on the job in the mining industry in 2010.
Support activities for mining
Oil and gas extraction
Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying
Metal ore mining
The fatal injury rate rose to 19.8 per 100,000 equivalent full-time workers in 2010, up from 12.4 in 2009. Mining had the second-highest fatal injury rate among industry sectors, behind only the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector. And the fatal injury rate for mining was more than five times higher than the figure for all private industry (3.6 fatal injuries per 100,000 full-time workers). Among those killed on the job in the mining industry, 58.1 percent were working in support activities for mining. Another 25.0 percent were employed in coal mining, and 7.0 percent worked in oil and gas extraction industries.
These data are from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see “Injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries in mining in 2010,” (HTML) (PDF) by Sean Smith, Beyond the Numbers, January 2013. The support activities subsector of the mining industry includes establishments that specialize in drilling, exploration, taking core samples, and making geological observations.