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Mining Fatalities 2022: How to prevent more

There were 29 mining fatalities in 2022, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor. While this number is down -21% from 2021’s 37 fatalities, 29 is still 29 too many… so how do we prevent more from happening? Well online MSHA refresher training would be a great start!

Federal law requires all miners receive basic and annual refresher training, and that all mine operators maintain an effective training plan. The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) even provides dedicated materials, guidance, and hands-on assistance to help the industry meet its training and safety obligations, yet the accidents and related deaths continue to occur.  

Mining fatalities in the U.S. 2022 infographic

Why were there so many fatalities?

During the 2022 Pit & Quarry Roundtable & Conference, Ogletree Deakins’ Margo Lopez shared what she saw as possible factors.  

“It’s not necessarily inexperienced miners,” Lopez said. “What we’re finding is some of the people involved in fatal accidents in the last year had been in the industry for a long time. Some of these accidents have occurred because people were cutting corners, trying to do more with less – and that includes time. Sometimes miners – for whatever reason – feel a time crunch, and they just jump right in and do something without taking the time to do it right.” 

Addressing the incidents, the MSHA is now urging mine operators to remember the requirement that miners must be trained. The MSHA is also stressing the importance of training – whether for first-timers or seasoned veterans. After all, according to Lopez, fatalities are increasing amongst those who have been in the industry the longest, as well as those who cut corners in the interest of time.  

Online MSHA refresher training options 

There are two parts to MSHA training: Part 46 and Part 48. Part 46 covers the aggregate industry, including granite, sand, gravel, lime and cement operations, while Part 48 covers all underground mining and surface mining of coal and some metals, such as gold.  

The MSHA requires mine workers to complete Part 46 training before they begin work. Miners must also complete at least eight hours of Part 46 refresher training each year. 

And in today’s day and age, it’s never been easier to receive training; for those looking to complete requirements, they can book a MSHA refresher course online. Easybook Training offers online, instructor led MSHA 8 hour refresher course for Part 46 and Part 48 (A) and (B), both available in English or Spanish.  

MSHA Part 46 refresher topics include:  

  • Introduction to MSHA 
  • Overview of Surface Mining 
  • Health Hazards in Mining 
  • Hazard Communication 
  • Electricity, Fire and Explosives 
  • Mining Machinery and Equipment 
  • Materials Handling and Storage 
  • Mining Health and Safety Standards 

MSHA Part 48 (B) refresher topics include:  

  • Mandatory Health and Safety Standards 
  • Transportation Controls and Communication Systems 
  • Escape and Emergency Evacuation Procedures 
  • Ground Control; Working in Areas of Highwalls, Water Hazards, Pits and Spoil Banks; Illumination and Night Work 
  • First Aid Methods 
  • Electrical Risks 
  • Accident Prevention 
  • Dust and Noise Health 
  • Explosives 
  • Self-Rescue and Respiratory Devices 

So why wait? With online training catered to one’s time and availability, there’s no more excuses relating to schedules or location. Book your refresher training today, and go home safe tomorrow – see what courses are available.