The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration requires reporting of injuries and illness sustained while working in mines in the U.S. But according to previous research, their reporting program, called the Part 50 program, did not effectively capture cases of injury in Kentucky, spurring concerns about underreporting in other states.
In 2015, Illinois ranked fourth among the 50 states in coal production, with 23 coal mines producing 56,101,000 short tons of coal (a short ton is 2,000 pounds). That year, there were 4,171 workers employed in the mining industry in Illinois, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Mining remains hazardous and is associated with an increased risk for injury, as well as several health conditions, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and black lung disease.
Part - Program - Mine - Safety - Health
The Part 50 program provides the Mine Safety and Health Administration the authority to investigate accidents, injuries and illnesses occurring in U.S. mines. Operators of coal, metal and nonmetal mines are required to notify the agency of occupational accidents, injury and illness of their employees. However, underreporting is a common occurrence.
Researchers led by Dr. Robert Cohen, clinical professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, looked at Part 50 reports of illness and injury in Illinois from 2001 to 2013, and attempted to link each report to a corresponding Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission case. Workers' compensation cases that didn't have a corresponding Part 50 report were considered unreported to the Part 50 program.
Researchers - Cases - Injury - Illness - Illinois
The researchers identified 1,923 cases of injury or illness in the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission reports from 2001 to 2013 that were captured by the Part 50 program. These cases represented just 34 percent of the 5,653 cases...
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