Chemical-Related Injuries And Illnesses In U.S. Mining - Preprint 09-031

Scott, D. F.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2009
The purpose of this study was to determine if miners are at risk from exposures to chemicals used in the mining industry, and determine the nature and sources of the illnesses and injuries. The authors reviewed the Mine Safety and Health Administration?s (MSHA) Employment and Accident, Injury, and Illness database and identified 2,705 cases of chemical-related injuries and illnesses that were reported to MSHA from 1999-2006, involving 66 different chemicals. The main source (cause) of chemical-related cases was acids/alkalis (about 39%). The primary nature (effect) of chemical-related cases was chemical burns (about 57%). The job classification where workers incurred the most chemical-related injuries and illnesses was cleaning plant operator/media operator/boney preparation plant operator/crusher worker. The number of nonfatal days lost did not change significantly and overall, the incidence rate of chemical-related cases decreased by 36%. Chemical burns accounted for a large number of injuries; mining companies should carefully examine their personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements, training methods, and safety culture to insure that their workers are protected.
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