Fiscal 2016 was the safest year in mining, ever. According to MSHA, there were a record-low number of 24 fatalities at more than 13,000 operations across the country from Oct. 1, 2015 to Sept. 31, 2016. Looking just at aggregates, injuries are down to just 2 per 200,000 hours worked for 2015.
“Each year for 15 years, operators have achieved lower injury rates than the previous year,” said Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety. “As things currently stand, retail clerks have a higher risk of injuries than workers in the aggregates industry.”
The historically low injury rate industry demonstrates the aggregates industry’s collective commitment to safe practices and proactively managing for safety.
Safety professionals today recognize that the overwhelming majority of injuries and accidents are caused by behaviors instead of workplace conditions. As operations continue to adopt cultures of safety, the injury rate should continue to fall.
Joe Main, MSHA assistant secretary, cautioned the industry against becoming complacent when it comes to continuing this trend in the current fiscal year. “Eliminating mining deaths and reducing injuries and illnesses is a goal that must be shared by all of us. We can, and must, strive to reach zero mining deaths,” he said.