Fewer Utah coal miners are digging more coal - and the main reason is modern equipment, according to State Industrial Commissioner Tom Carlson.
In 1995, $25.7 million tons of coal were mined in Utah, 1.1 million tons more than in 1994. This was done by 1,916 mining employees, of which 1,535 worked underground and the remainder were support and administrative personnel.Carlson said 1995 was the third consecutive year in which the amount of coal mined increased while the number of employees decreased. In 1995 there were 10 coal companies and 13 operating mines in Utah.
Safety in Utah coal mining is also increasing: In 1995 there were 87 lost-time injuries in the coal mines, a drop from the 92 lost-time injuries in 1994.
Forty years ago, Carlson said, the miners dug 25,000 tons of coal for every lost-time injury, but that figure increased in 1995 to 295,682 tons of coal per lost-time injury.