Coal Mining

Overview of coal mining industry in Indiana.

Coal Mining Acts

  • ​Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006: The “MINER Act” requires operators of underground coal mines to improve accident preparedness. It requires mining companies to develop an emergency response plan, and require that every mine have at least two rescue teams located within one hour. The act increases both civil and criminal penalties for violations of federal mining safety standards and gives the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) the ability to temporarily close a mine that fails to pay the penalties or fines.
  • Federal Mine Safety & Health Act of 1977: This Act renamed the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 as the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and amended it to bring metal and nonmetal miners under its jurisdiction.

Black Lung

Coal Workers Pneumoconiosis (CWP) and other occupational lung diseases from coal mine dust are collectively known as “black lung.” Occupational lung diseases are dust-related diseases that occur after an extended period of exposure to excessive amounts of respirable coal mine dust. Black lung includes:

  • ​Fibrotic diseases that damage or destroy lung tissue such as CWP or silicosis. Fibrotic diseases are usually seen on chest X-rays.
  • Airflow diseases, referred to as Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), block movement of air in and out of the lungs. Examples of COPD include emphysema and chronic bronchitis. The development or existence of COPD is determined by breathing tests.


U.S. Department of Labor

Mine Safety and Health Administration
Indiana Coal Council
National Mining Association

Rate Development

For Code 1005, Surface coal mining, the advisory rate is calculated from the “derived by formula pure premiums” method as is done with the industrial classes. This code is listed in the “A” sheets just like other industrial classes.

For Code 1016, Underground coal mining, the advisory rate is calculated by taking the pure premiums underlying the current rate and updating them using the Industry Group 5 conversion factors. The rate is based entirely on the “present on rate level pure premiums.” The rate documentation is found in the rate filing Technical Supplement, Appendix B-V.


The majority of mining occurs in 15 counties in southwestern Indiana. All of Indiana’s coal occurs in the west-central and southwestern portion of the state in a large geologic structure known as the Illinois Basin.