The fatality rate for coal mining in 2006 was 49.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers, up from a rate of 26.8 recorded in 2005. This is according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The fatality rate for total private industry workers in 2006 was 4.3.
Of the 47 coal mining fatalities recorded in 2006, 20 were due to fires and explosions, 16 resulted from contact with objects and equipment, and 9 were transportation incidents. There were no fatalities involving fires or explosions recorded in 2005.
West Virginia had the most coal mining fatalities in 2006, accounting for nearly half (49 percent) of all fatal injuries in the industry. West Virginia was followed by Kentucky, which accounted for 30 percent of the coal mining fatalities in 2006.
This data is from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. For more information, see "Coal Mining Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities in 2006," by James B. Rice and Jill A. Janocha, Compensation and Working Conditions Online, June 2008.