Worker Safety

Mining safety has improved dramatically since the birth of the uranium mining industry in the 1940s, and the statistics on the industry show it.  The National Mining Association reports that, according to figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, miners suffer fewer non-fatal occupational injuries than any other cohort of workers from a major industry, except for workers conducting financial activities. Professions with a higher injury incident rate include Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing; Education & Health Services; Manufacturing; Construction; and Leisure & Hospitality. Moreover, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, the federal agency regulating uranium mines and mills in Canada, touts studies showing that uranium miners and the populations living near mining operations are as healthy as the general public.

The safety and health of miners is closely regulated by federal and state laws. All workers are required to wear personal dosimeters to measure radiation exposure, which must be reported to the NRC and must not exceed limits set by the NRC. Keeping certain parts of the mining and milling operation wet controls the dust exposure workers receive. Ventilation systems disperse radon gas emitted from the ore bodies in mines.