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Estimating the injury rates and causes of fatalities in the Japanese mining industry, 1924–2014

Abstract: This article investigates the trends in injury rates and causes of fatalities in the Japanese mining industry. Accident data were collected from the Japan Statistics Yearbooks released by the Bureau of the Prime Minister. These data were analyzed to estimate the injury rates and accident causes in the Japanese mining industry. In Japan, the median injury, severe injury and fatality rates were 129.25, 5.44 and 2.99/1000 workers, respectively. A collapsing roof in an underground mine was the principal cause of fatal accidents, accounting for a median value of 21/1000 worker deaths during the entire period under study. In comparison with the accident experience of the USA and the Democratic Republic of Congo, countries with substantial mining industries, the median values of the fatality rates were 0.58 and 0.28/1000 workers, respectively. We conclude that Japanese mineworkers were most exposed to the risk of accidents during the prewar era.
Keywords: mining industry / occupational safety / industrial accidents / injury rates / fatal accidents / USA / Democratic Republic of Congo / Japan

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