Coal mine deaths, fines and significant violations for the 10 largest coal mine controllers, 2000-2009

Monday, November 22nd, 2010 

Even before an explosion at its Upper Big Branch mine killed 29 on April 5, Massey Energy had the worst safety record among the country's largest coal producers (read the full story). Analysis of public data from the Mine Safety and Health Administration shows that between 2000 and 2009, the company was hit with more "significant violations" and fines than any other company, and was tied for the most deaths with CONSOL Energy Inc., which employs more miners. Click here for an excel file of all coal mining fatalities from 2000 through 2010.

Click on a column header below to sort the list; click a second time to reverse the sort order

Mine ControllerCoal mine employees
Deaths 2000-2009Fines assessed, 2000-2009"Significant" violations,
Massey Energy Company 569523$44,353,29125612
Alpha Natural Resources LLC53949$7,843,0645564
CONSOL Energy Inc603823$29,428,48920899
International Coal Group Inc (ICG)226817$8,347,1723314
Alliance Resource Partners LP332317$13,163,7507496
Robert E Murray215110$18,192,1867747
James River Coal Company14347$12,375,9169942
Arch Coal Inc41376$5,441,0393400
Peabody Energy48626$26,653,4558795
Patriot Coal Corporation*32121$8,996,6272779


*Patriot Coal Corporation was spun off from Peabody on Oct. 31, 2007.

Only fines assessed by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are included.

MSHA defines "significant and substantial" fines as those where an "inspector has indicated that based upon the particular facts surrounding the violation there exists a reasonable likelihood the hazard contributed to will result in an injury or illness of a reasonably serious nature."

Source: MSHA public databases, as of Nov. 12, 2010