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MSHA announces safest fiscal year in mining history

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and HealthAdministration announced Oct. 11 that the 2016 fiscal year was the safest inmining history, with a record-low 24 deaths reported at 13,000 mines.

"These numbers represent nearly a 30 percent drop sinceFY 2013," Assistant Secretary of Labor Joseph Main said at a recentconference. "The extensive efforts by MSHA and the mining community thatheld metal and nonmetal mining deaths to three during a seven-month period wereinstrumental in driving these numbers."

The period ran from Oct. 1, 2015, to Sept. 30, 2016.

The agency credited the drop in fatal incidents to increasedenforcement, outreach and compliance assistance actions, noting that it hadrecently urged industry actors to "reinvigorate their efforts to reversethe trend in mining deaths and regain last year's momentum."

"We are calling on all of our stakeholders, includingmine operators, miners' organizations, associations and trainers, to increasetheir attention to the conditions and hazards that are leading to fatalities,"Main said.

According to MSHA, coal mines have reported eight fatalitiessince the beginning of the calendar year, while the wider mining industryreported a total of 22 fatalities.