In the first six months of 2015, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) recorded the deaths of 18 miners in mining industry accidents in its national midyear summary. The toll represents a decrease of five metal and nonmetal deaths from the same period in 2014.

The summary shows six deaths occurred in underground coal mines. Two happened in underground metal and nonmetal mines, two at surface coal mines and eight in surface metal and nonmetal mines.

Machinery and powered haulage accidents were the most common cause of mining deaths, accounting for eight fatalities — four in each category. Of the 18 miners killed, six were contractors, five were supervisors and one was a mine operator. In the metal and nonmetal sector, two miners were killed in powered haulage accidents, two in machinery accidents, two from falling/sliding material, one in a fall of roof, one from hoisting, one from striking or bumping, and one from a fall of person.

Of the eight coal mining deaths, two miners died in accidents involving machinery, two in powered haulage, two in a fall of rib/face, one in a fall of roof, and one in falling material. Half of the metal and nonmetal deaths occurred at small mines with fewer than 10 employees.

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