Most Dangerous Jobs Miners

About one of the most dangerous or life-threatening jobs mining, information and dangers of the profession.


Miners: Of all dangerous occupations that spring to mind, mining probably stands near the head of the list. And with justification. In historical terms, it is likely that the excavation of minerals and other materials from beneath the earth's surface has killed more people than any other activity, with the possible exception of warfare. A century ago, mine accidents involving rockfalls, machinery, and explosions took the lives of 1,000 coal miners a year in Britain; in 1976 there were 38 accidental deaths. In the U.S., one coal miner dies every other working day in an accident. The pulmonary complications arising from various types of metallic and mineral dust are collectively known as pneumoconiosis, and are often chronic, progressive, and disabling. Other underground hazards include flooding; heat; noise; gases (such as carbon monoxide, methane, and the oxides of nitrogen); bursitis and lower back problems; irritant dermatitis; ophthalmic disorders such as miners' nystagmus; and exposure to the radioactive gas radon--particularly in uranium mines. Although the Western world has seen great improvements in mining conditions, the annual number of deaths from mining accidents and pulmonary disease on a worldwide scale remains wholly unacceptable.

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