In the United States there were 37 fatalities due to mining accidents in 2011, according to data released by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). The majority of the deaths came from Kentucky (eight), West Virginia (six), and Ohio (three). Reportedly “12 fatalities occurred at surface coal mines, 11 at surface metal/nonmetal mines, 9 at underground coal mines and 5 at underground metal/nonmetal mines”.— http://www.conneyblog.com/safety-articles/mining-fatalities-for-2011. 2011 was the second-lowest year for fatalities since the earliest recorded statistics were kept in 1910. These low numbers are in direct contrast with the year that preceded it. 2010 marked the deadliest year for miners in the U.S. in over two decades as 71 miners were killed (29 dying in an explosion on April 5th at Massey Energy Co. in the Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster in West Virginia.). One reason for this vast improvement from year to year is that extra steps of precautions and awareness to keep miners safe were put into place.
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