December 8, 2022 | Benna Hughes

5 Most Common Causes of Mining Fatalities in the US


When we think of mining accidents, we often think of collapses, explosions, and situations in which people are trapped.

According to MSHA (Mine Safety and Health Administration), there are 5 most common causes of mining fatalities in the US: 

  1. Powered haulage 
  1. Machinery 
  1. Falling or sliding material 
  1. Fall involving a face, rib, or a high wall 
  1. Slipping or falling

I’ve read about some recent local accidents involving mining fatalities and each accident fell into one of these 5 categories.

So, very often, these incidents and fatalities are preventable accidents. How do you learn to prevent these accidents from happening?

One place to start is with your root cause analysis program. One that is robust and backed by many years of research, guiding you through the investigation with the right questions to ask and not based on assumptions. Using TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis gives you so much to think about regarding the processes and systems that you have in place, that you start looking at situations differently and learning to recognize potential issues before they become tragedies. The Corrective Action Helper® Guide isn’t just great for obvious “Corrective Actions” but also to proactively equip you with resources, ideas, and focus so that if something happens, you are primed to put preventative actions in place.

When I look at some of those top 5 most common causes of mining fatalities, the word “safeguards” comes to mind.

If you want to learn more about safeguards along with other advanced investigation topics, our 5-Day TapRooT® Advanced Root Cause Analysis Team Leader Training was designed for you! Mining companies need to train their teams in our 5-Day TapRooT® Course.

What if you don’t know about TapRooT® RCA? We can help with that. We offer training all over the world, in person and currently virtually as well. We will teach you how to get to the true root causes of incidents and put effective corrective actions in place to reduce the number and severity of your mining incidents. Learn how to put more effective safeguards in place and sign up for a 5-Day TapRooT® Course today.

5-Day Training is for people who investigate low-to-medium risk incidents, precursor incidents, and, perhaps, major incidents (serious injuries, fatalities, major facility upsets, fires and explosions, or significant environmental releases).

The course covers the essential TapRooT® Techniques (SnapCharT® Diagram, Safeguards Analysis, the Root Cause Tree® Diagram, and the Corrective Action Helper® Guide) and the optional tools (Change Analysis, CHAP, and Equifactor® Troubleshooting) that are used in a major investigation. The course covers advanced interviewing and information collection techniques and techniques to improve human performance. In addition, learn the proactive use of the TapRooT® System. There are frequent exercises using the TapRooT® Software so that attendees leave with significant practice of the skills they will apply when they get back to work.

Day One (8:00 am to 5:00 pm)

  • Class Introductions and TapRooT® Introduction
  • TapRooT® System Overview – What You’ll Be Learning
  • SnapCharT® Basics – Gathering Information
  • SnapCharT® Exercise – Practice
  • Causal Factors – Identifying the Errors
  • Root Cause Tree® Diagram – Eliminating Blame
  • Root Cause Tree® Exercise – On Your Own
  • Corrective Actions – Developing Fixes
  • Corrective Action Exercise

Day Two (8:00 am to 5:00 pm)

  • Software Tips
  • Generic Causes – Systemic Problems
  • Enhanced Corrective Actions
  • Preparing for Your Investigation
  • Collecting Information
  • Interviewing
  • Interviewing Exercise
  • Interviewing Exercise (RCA)

Day Three (8:00 am to 5:00 pm)

  • Management System & Changing Behavior
  • Equifactor® Troubleshooting
  • Human Engineering
  • CHAP & Exercise
  • Change Analysis
  • Change Analysis Exercise
  • Improving Procedures
  • Putting It All Together
  • Work Direction & Exercise

Day Four (8:00 am to 5:00 pm)

  • Human Factors Jeopardy
  • Proactive Improvement
  • Auditing Using Safeguard Analysis
  • Water Hammer Exercise
  • Analyzing Training Problems
  • Grading Investigations
  • Presenting to Management
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Start Final Exercise (SnapCharT® Diagram)

Day Five (8:00 am to 1:00 pm)

  • Final Exercise: Safeguards Analysis
  • Final Exercise: Define Causal Factors
  • Final Exercise: Find Root Causes
  • Final Exercise: Find Generic Causes
  • Final Exercise: Develop Fixes
  • Final Exercise: Presentations

Course materials we provide:

  1. TapRooT® Major Investigations Book
  2. TapRooT® Essentials Book
  3. Laminated TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Diagram
  4. TapRooT® Root Cause Tree® Dictionary
  5. Course Workbook
  6. Corrective Action Helper® Guide

Upon completion of the course, attendees will receive a certificate of completion and a 90-Day Subscription to TapRooT® Personal Software, our dynamic online software that guides you through the TapRooT® Process with ease and efficiency.

Register for training.

Contact us for on-site training options.

Need help? Call us (865.539.2139) or email us.

Accident, Process Safety
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