Abstract The underground metal-nonmetal (MNM) mining industry represents an environment that is significantly different from other underground mining environments. This paper reports the findings of an investigation of hand tool-related accidents in the underground MNM mining industry over a 6-year period (1978–1983). The sequence of injury components associated with the various hand tools are described. The study revealed that about 85% of all lost work days due to hand tool-related injuries are the result of accidents involving the jackleg drill or scaling bar. The sequences of injury components for these tools and the ergonomic implications associated with these sequences are discussed. Suggestions are given for further research to correct the problems described.