Project Title

Worker safety in energy production in America: A comparative analysis of fuel sources and accompanying occupational risk

Presenters

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CCSE - Data Science and Analytics

Faculty Sponsor Name

Joe DeMaio

This data is already publicly available from government sources, so we did not require IRB approval.

Abstract (300 words maximum)

The world runs on energy. From light bulbs to cell phones to cars, energy is essential. In our increasingly technology-based society, its importance, too, is increasing. As our reliance on energy increases, the need to find safe and sustainable energy production sources only becomes more urgent. In the United States as of 2016, coal energy makes up about 30% of electricity generated, while hydroelectric provides about 7% (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017). Coal has a reputation as one of the more dangerous fields to work in. In 2007, the rate of fatal injuries for coal miners was almost six times the rate of fatal injuries in private industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). There are more deaths in the coal industry per-year than in hydroelectric, which might lead one to the conclusion that coal is a much more dangerous way to produce power. However, while hydroelectric has lower fatalities overall, when deaths are standardized relative to power production, we find that hydroelectric power fatalities were relatively higher than those of coal in 2005 and 2006. This project gathers data on injuries (fatal and non-fatal) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, and data on energy produced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, comparing the two across the years. In this poster, we provide preliminary results comparing worker safety in coal, hydroelectric, and other energy production fields in the United States.

Project Type

Poster

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Worker safety in energy production in America: A comparative analysis of fuel sources and accompanying occupational risk

The world runs on energy. From light bulbs to cell phones to cars, energy is essential. In our increasingly technology-based society, its importance, too, is increasing. As our reliance on energy increases, the need to find safe and sustainable energy production sources only becomes more urgent. In the United States as of 2016, coal energy makes up about 30% of electricity generated, while hydroelectric provides about 7% (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2017). Coal has a reputation as one of the more dangerous fields to work in. In 2007, the rate of fatal injuries for coal miners was almost six times the rate of fatal injuries in private industry (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2010). There are more deaths in the coal industry per-year than in hydroelectric, which might lead one to the conclusion that coal is a much more dangerous way to produce power. However, while hydroelectric has lower fatalities overall, when deaths are standardized relative to power production, we find that hydroelectric power fatalities were relatively higher than those of coal in 2005 and 2006. This project gathers data on injuries (fatal and non-fatal) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ website, and data on energy produced from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, comparing the two across the years. In this poster, we provide preliminary results comparing worker safety in coal, hydroelectric, and other energy production fields in the United States.