Mining has been an integral part of Minnesota’s identity and economy since the discovery of iron ore in the 1800s. However, those who brave the underground depths face a myriad of dangers each day. The recent findings from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration have highlighted these risks further.
In 2023, the MSHA conducted comprehensive inspections across 15 states, including Minnesota, and discovered an alarming number of safety violations. These findings underscore the challenges Minnesota miners confront regularly, emphasizing the need for continuous vigilance and compliance in the mining sector.
MSHA inspections reveal hazards
In April 2023, MSHA completed inspections at 20 mines and found 335 violations, a significant number in any context. This figure included 92 significant and substantial violations, situations that could likely cause serious injury or illness, and five unwarrantable failure findings, instances of more than ordinary negligence.
Learning from others
At the Martin Marietta Magnesia Special mine in Ohio, MSHA found a nonfatal accident rate three times higher than the national average for this type of mine. One accident involved a miner getting injured when a poorly maintained metal guard fell on them.
Vigilance in mining
These findings from the MSHA inspections highlight the significance of constant vigilance in the mining industry. Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson stresses that mine operators must always be vigilant and act quickly to prevent accidents and repeat violations.
If you are a miner in Minnesota, these findings show the importance of understanding and following safety protocols. It is important to protect yourself and your fellow miners from the many hazards in your working environment.