“Even though the number of mining deaths for the first half of this year are at an all-time low, one mining death is still one too many,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. “Fatalities can be prevented. They are not an inevitable byproduct of mining. Effective health and safety programs, training of miners and proper workplace examinations can identify and eliminate the hazards that kill and injure miners. Mine operators are well aware they must take responsibility for the health and safety conditions in their mines to prevent these tragedies.”

Of the eight coal mining deaths, three were a result of machinery accidents. Two miners died in rib collapse accidents, two miners were killed in powered haulage accidents, and one miner was killed in a fall accident. Two of the eight fatalities involved contractors.