200168 Mining fatality and injury rates among operators and contractors

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Saeher A. F. Muzaffar, MD, MSt, MPH , Dept. of Environmental Health, Environmental & Occupational Medicine & Epidemiology (EOME) Program, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Kristin Cummings, MD, MPH , National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV
Gerald Hobbs, PhD , Department of Statistics, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV
Kathleen Kreiss, MD , National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, WV
Background:

Fatality and injury rates have been elevated historically for contract miners. This study examined recent trends in fatal and nonfatal injuries among contractors and operators using the Mine Safety and Health Administration database.

Methods:

Rates were computed using surveillance data on employment and injuries for miners during 1998-2007. Employment data were used to obtain full-time employee equivalents (FTEs) for operators and contractors in coal/noncoal mining and surface/underground locations. Fatal and non-fatal injury rates were calculated for these subgroups. Rate ratios were computed using a binomial probability model.

Results:

Overall rates of fatality for contractors and operators were 36.5 and 22.6 per 100,000 FTEs, respectively, with a rate ratio for contractors versus operators of 1.62 [95% CI (1.35 1.93)]. Among underground coal miners, fatality rates for contractors and operators were 76.9 and 49.1 per 100,000 FTEs, respectively. In surface non-coal operations, fatality rates for contractors and operators were 37.1 and 15.5 per 100,000 FTEs, respectively. In contrast, injury rates for contractors and operators were 3.4 and 5.1 per 100 FTEs, respectively, with a rate ratio of 0.65 [95% CI (0.64 0.67)]. This injury pattern existed in all subgroups except underground coal mining.

Conclusions:

Fatality rates were elevated for contractors compared to operators, while injury rates appeared generally higher among operators. Investigation into the reasons for these disparities and subsequent interventions may be beneficial.

Learning Objectives:
To compare fatality and injury rates between miners who are contractors and operators.

Keywords: Occupational Injury and Death, Vulnerable Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am training in occupational medicine and have been involved in epidemiologic research pertaining to occupational health. I rotated through the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health in Morgantown, WV where I gained a better understanding of occupational fatality and disease surveillance. This experience at NIOSH as well as a rotation through the MA Dept of Public Health, Occupational Health Division, enabled me to learn more about the difficulties surrounding surveillance and labor protections for contingent workers such as contractors, day laborers, or temporary agency workers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.