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U.S. Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)


Evaluation of the Completeness of Injury and Illness Reporting in the Illinois Mining Industry: Comparing Workers’ Compensation Claims to the MSHA Part 50 Program

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Part 50 program implements MSHA’s authority to investigate and utilize information pertaining to, accidents, injuries, and illnesses occurring or originating in mines. It requires operators of coal, metal, and nonmetal mines to immediately notify MSHA of accidents, although underreporting of injury and disease events has been observed in the mining industry. We analyzed the patterns and causes of why injuries and illnesses are not captured by or reported to the MSHA Part 50 Program, by comparing Part 50 data to claims in the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission (IWCC).

This study showed that 71% of mining-related IWCC claims were not captured by Part 50 Reports. We found that the Part 50 program:

  • captures a higher proportion of acute injuries (43%) compared to chronic injuries or illnesses (6%)
  • captures more cases of disease and injury associated with localized body parts compared to systemic processes
  • is less likely to capture cases that are complex, severe, and take a long time to resolve legally
  • captures cases of illness and injury from larger mining operations than small mines