Mine Safety

While occupational health focuses on preventing hazards that cause health problems such as illness, disease, disorders and syndromes, occupational safety considers the prevention of hazards that cause injury.

Safety is often measured in part by unwanted outcomes, such as injuries and fatalities. For example, of all injuries reported to MSHA at western mines from 2000-2018, the most commonly reported accident types were "Struck by" (27.6%), "Over-exertion" (23.8%), "Falls" (14.5%), "Caught in, under, or between" (12.5%), and "Struck against" (12.1%).

Trend graph of lost time injuries and occupational illness from 1999 to 2019.

This primer provides an overview of several key categories of injuries, as outlined below. For further study, MSHA's Open Government Data Sets provide useful resources on current and historic injury trends.