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Mining fatalities rose 21.8 percent from 2020 to 2021

October 20, 2023

The number of fatal injuries in the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry rose from 78 in 2020 to 95 in 2021, a 21.8-percent increase. Fatal injuries in the industry were above 100 in the three years prior to 2020: 112 fatalities in 2017, 130 fatalities in 2018, and 127 fatalities in 2019.

Number of fatal work injuries in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industries, 2017–21
Industry 2017 2018* 2019 2020 2021

Total

112 130 127 78 95

Oil and gas extraction

8 13 22 7 6

Metal ore mining

4 4 4 5 7

Coal mining

17 11 11 8 10

Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying

10 17 8 19 15

Support activities for mining

73 83 82 39 57

 *Two mining fatalities included in the 2018 total were not classified by specific mining industry.

Within the mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry in 2021, the most work-related fatal injuries were in support activities for mining, at 57 fatalities, followed by nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying (15 fatalities), and coal mining (10 fatalities).

The fatal injury rate for the overall mining industry in 2021 was 14.2 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. This was compared to a rate of 3.8 overall in private industry.

Fatal injury rates per 100,000 full-time workers, 2021
Industry Fatal injury rate

Total, private

3.8

Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction

14.2

Oil and gas extraction

9.8

Mining (except oil and gas)

17.8

Coal mining

19.6

Metal ore mining

19.2

Nonmetallic mineral mining and quarrying

16.3

Support activities for mining

13.4

Within mining, coal mining had 19.6 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers, while oil and gas extraction had 9.8 fatalities per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers in 2021.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see “National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2021.” The Bureau of Labor Statistics also has more charts on work-related deaths. Updated data will be published in the 2022 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Mining fatalities rose 21.8 percent from 2020 to 2021 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2023/mining-fatalities-rose-21-8-percent-from-2020-to-2021.htm (visited April 15, 2024).

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