According to latest data from US’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, only 5 miners died in US coal mines in 2020, an all time low mark for an industry in a year that saw continuing declines in production as electric providers move away from burning coal. Kentucky and West Virginia each had two coal mining deaths in 2020, and there was one in Pennsylvania. The previous low in yearly coal deaths was eight in 2016, and there were 12 in 2019.
Workplace deaths in coal mines have remained low since 2014, the first year annual deaths were less than 20. Since then, the totals have exceeded 12 only twice. A century ago in 1920, US had more than 2,200 coal deaths, before machines replaced manpower underground.
Approximately 64,000 miners work in US’s 1,000 coal mines.