We describe inconsistencies in disease and illness reporting in U.S. mining, identify under-reporting of disease and illness in U.S. mining, and summarize selected disease and illness in U.S. mining from 1983 through 2001.
We summarized information on mining-related disease and illness data for the years 1983–2001 from the Mining Safety and Health Administration database (MSHA).
Discrepancies exist in types of information collected by the Centers for Disease and Control, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, and the Mining Safety and Health Administration database. Several factors, including a worker’s fear of losing his or her job, health insurance, or other job-related benefits contribute to under-reporting of disease and illness information in the US mining industry.
Since 1997, both number of workers employed in mining and disease and illness rates have decreased; however, the highest disease and illness rates in mining continue to be coal worker’s pneumoconiosis and hearing loss.