As mines close, coal deaths nearing all-time low in 2015

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Amid layoffs and idled operations, the U.S. coal industry is close to setting a record low for on-the-job deaths in coal mines.

See Full Article

In late December, there were 11 deaths in coal mines nationwide for the year, putting the industry on track to best the record low of 16 set in 2014.

Pennsylvania is leading the nation with three deaths, the most in that state since 2008. If the numbers hold it would be the first time since 2009 that West Virginia did not record the nation's most coal mine fatalities. So far, West Virginia has had just two mining deaths, tied with Kentucky and Illinois, which had the most recent on Dec. 8. An equipment crash underground at the MC .1 mine in southern Illinois killed 20-year-old Tyler Rath, who had been mining for two years.

Alabama and Virginia have each had one mining death with just a few days left in 2015.

Seven deaths have occurred in underground mines, and four of those were attributed to roof or wall failures.

Employment in U.S. coal mines has been on the decline in recent years, especially in Appalachia, as operators cut ties with costly underground operations to better compete with cheaper western coal and a plentiful supply of natural gas.

Coal employment nationwide was down in November from 72,700 to 64,700, an 11 per cent drop, compared to last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In Kentucky, mines have lost about 4,000 jobs between 2012 and 2014.

Bruce Watzman, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said the industry has had a heightened focus on safety with a goal of zero fatalities. He said the reduction in mine employment in recent years may also be a factor in the record low deaths.

"We've long said that a safe mine is a productive mine, and in the competitive marketplace that exists today it's important that mines operate at optimum performance and that means safely," Watzman said.

The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration is withholding comment on the fatal numbers until the year is over, according to a spokeswoman.

But after last year's record low, federal mine safety officials credited the changes they made after the Upper Big Branch disaster in West Virginia in 2010 that killed 29 men, which included more aggressive inspections at mines with poor safety records, many of them in Appalachia.



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • Asian stocks mixed as investors examine French election outcome

    Economic CTV News
    TOKYO -- Asian stocks were mixed Monday as investors weighed the results of the first round of the French presidential election. KEEPING SCORE: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 1.3 per cent in morning trading to 18,870.24. Source
  • Oregon teens sells $1 million in custom socks

    Economic CTV News
    SHERWOOD, Ore. -- Seventeen-year-old Oregon resident Brennan Agranoff spends his days going to school, doing chores and running his custom-design sock business. It's no simple hobby: Agranoff is the founder and CEO of HoopSwagg, and he has already sold $1 million in custom socks. Source
  • Oregon teen sells $1 million in custom socks

    Economic CTV News
    SHERWOOD, Ore. -- Seventeen-year-old Oregon resident Brennan Agranoff spends his days going to school, doing chores and running his custom-design sock business. It's no simple hobby: Agranoff is the founder and CEO of HoopSwagg, and he has already sold $1 million in custom socks. Source
  • The sad saga of North Korea's ATMs

    Economic CTV News
    PYONGYANG, North Korea -- No modern airport terminal is complete without an ATM, and Pyongyang's now has two. But they don't work -- because of new Chinese sanctions, according to bank officials -- and it's not clear when they will. Source
  • Real estate reality check: CBC's Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

    Economic CBC News
    Miss something this week? Here's the consumer news you need to know from CBC's Marketplace. Get this in your inbox every Friday. Sign up here. House cooling Time for some cold water on that hot southern Ontario real estate market? Here's how the province is proposing to rein in the madness. Source
  • Birthing April the Giraffe becomes cash cow for tiny U.S. zoo

    Economic CTV News
    April the giraffe has become a cash cow for a tiny zoo in rural upstate New York, thanks to a livestream of her pregnancy and birth that has enthralled viewers around the world. Owners of the Animal Adventure Park won't say exactly how much they've pulled in from all the April-related ventures, but marketing experts who specialize in viral internet campaigns conservatively estimate the haul in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Source
  • Despite special regulations, edible entrepreneurs hope to take bite of Canada's marijuana market

    Economic CBC News
    Amid all the uncertainty about the federal government's ?plans to legalize marijuana by mid-2018, a culinary mystery stands out: How will marijuana-infused food products, commonly called "edibles," fit into the legal regime? Ottawa has signalled that regulations governing the sales of edibles won't be ready by the time recreational marijuana becomes legal. Source
  • 'Vital for tenants' or 'textbook' bad policy: How rent control works in NYC

    Economic CBC News
    Before Ontario's provincial government announced its plans to expand rent control, some economists were already sounding alarm bells about imposing the controversial policy. In response to some Toronto tenants who say their rents have doubled, the government on Thursday unveiled its Fair Housing Plan. Source
  • What we can learn from New York's rent control regime

    Economic CBC News
    Before Ontario's provincial government announced its plans to expand rent control, some economists were already sounding alarm bells about imposing the controversial policy. In response to some Toronto tenants who say their rents have doubled, the government on Thursday unveiled its Fair Housing Plan. Source
  • Despite special regulations, entrepreneurs hope to take bite of Canada's marijuana edibles market

    Economic CBC News
    Amid all the uncertainty about the federal government's ?plans to legalize marijuana by mid-2018, a culinary mystery stands out: How will marijuana-infused food products, commonly called "edibles," fit into the legal regime? Ottawa has signalled that regulations governing the sales of edibles won't be ready by the time recreational marijuana becomes legal. Source