What Are the Common Causes of Mining Fatalities?

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  • Written By: Tiffany Manley
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 24 September 2019
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Most miners understand that there is often a chance of mining fatalities occurring while they are on the job. These usually occur because of explosions, blasting accidents, or falling machinery. Collapsing roofs are also a cause of some mining fatalities. Each region usually has specific regulations that should be followed so it is important for workers to follow these and strive for the utmost safety while doing their jobs.

In many areas where mining takes place, naturally explosive gasses are often present. If equipment malfunctions or is used improperly an explosion might occur. This is often the most common cause of mining fatalities in many areas. While individuals can try to prevent such accidents from happening, it is often impossible to ensure something does not occur.

Some mining activity involves the use of explosives to blast layers of rock apart. While most people use great care when conducting blasting operations, it is still possible for accidents to occur. A common result of this activity is flying rocks that have the potential to strike a miner fatally. Another potential incident from blasts is a premature detonation. If people are still close to the site it is quite possible they will be fatally injured from the explosion.


While many mining fatalities occur because of a variety of explosions, falling machinery is often another cause. Ground stability can never really be guaranteed and that means it is possible for machinery being used to slip and fall. This could fatally wound the individual operating it or possibly crush those underneath. The machinery being used is often large and extremely heavy meaning it can slip without much notice after sitting in one spot for a long period of time.

Collapses in a mine are another common cause of mining fatalities. A collapse often happens without any warning, trapping workers inside. Sometimes the sheer weight of the rocks and debris kill the workers, while lack of oxygen might be another cause of death. When a mine collapses, it is sometimes possible for emergency personnel to rescue the workers before they are fatally wounded, but this is not always possible.

Many people lobby for better conditions for workers in this industry. Fatal accidents continue to occur in numerous regions and sometimes people feel they could have been prevented. While there is no way to guarantee an accident-free work zone, it is possible for most company executives to research ways to improve the safety of their areas of responsibility.


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