MSHA Reaches out to Help Miners

March 13, 2002
An intensive effort is underway at MSHA to reach coal miners, gold miners, quarry workers and other mining industry employees nationwide to provide information on mining hazards and ways to prevent accidents on the job.

An intensive effort is underway at the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to reach coal miners, gold miners, quarry workers and other mining industry employees nationwide to provide information on mining hazards and ways to prevent accidents on the job.

MSHA's "Focus on Safe Work" initiative finds hundreds of MSHA inspection personnel, engineers, and training specialists traveling to all coal and metal and nonmetal mining operations to speak with workers and supervisors about fatalities that have occurred this year. MSHA personnel are distributing materials on safe mining, which may also be accessed through MSHA's homepage at under "Focus on Safe Work."

"We've visited nearly 7,000 mine sites and spoken with nearly 70,000 miners since Feb. 4," says Dave Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Last year, fatalities dropped after the agency conducted a similar effort, 'Stand Down for Safety,' and we are hopeful that this reminder will help keep this year's increase from becoming a trend. We want every working miner to go home to his family safe and injury-free every day."

During visits to mine sites, MSHA personnel discuss the fatal accidents that have occurred this year and share "best practices" to help reduce such serious accidents at work sites. MSHA is focusing discussions on three primary causes of mining accidents: roof falls, electrocutions (due to failure to "lockout/tagout") and powered haulage. MSHA personnel are also customizing talks with miners to reflect on hazards typically encountered at their mine site.

So far this year, 17 mining fatalities have occurred in the United States, compared with seven fatalities at the same time during 2001 and 11 fatal accidents during the same period in 2000. A record low 72 miners were victims of fatal accidents on the job last year at U.S. mining operations.

edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

About the Author

EHS Today Staff

EHS Today's editorial staff includes:

Dave Blanchard, Editor-in-Chief: During his career Dave has led the editorial management of many of Endeavor Business Media's best-known brands, including IndustryWeekEHS Today, Material Handling & LogisticsLogistics Today, Supply Chain Technology News, and Business Finance. In addition, he serves as senior content director of the annual Safety Leadership Conference. With over 30 years of B2B media experience, Dave literally wrote the book on supply chain management, Supply Chain Management Best Practices (John Wiley & Sons, 2021), which has been translated into several languages and is currently in its third edition. He is a frequent speaker and moderator at major trade shows and conferences, and has won numerous awards for writing and editing. He is a voting member of the jury of the Logistics Hall of Fame, and is a graduate of Northern Illinois University.

Adrienne Selko, Senior Editor: In addition to her roles with EHS Today and the Safety Leadership Conference, Adrienne is also a senior editor at IndustryWeek and has written about many topics, with her current focus on workforce development strategies. She is also a senior editor at Material Handling & Logistics. Previously she was in corporate communications at a medical manufacturing company as well as a large regional bank. She is the author of Do I Have to Wear Garlic Around My Neck?, which made the Cleveland Plain Dealer's best sellers list.

Nicole Stempak, Managing Editor:  Nicole Stempak is managing editor of EHS Today and conference content manager of the Safety Leadership Conference.

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