Warm weather and abandoned mine sites can be a deadly combination, so the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has joined with other government agencies, industry and labor to educate the public about the dangers of exploring and playing in these forbidden areas.
Despite warnings, posted signs and fencing, tragedies involving accidents on active and abandoned mine property continue to be a problem, even more so during warmer weather and summertime, when children are out of school. That's why Stay Out Stay Alive, a nationwide public awareness safety campaign, is from May 16 to May 31.
During the two-week period, MSHA and its partners are asking local organizations to reach out to schools and community groups across the country. Instructional materials are available to explain the hazards that lurk within the confines of quarries, refuse and stock piles, and mine openings.
Recent tragedies include a young boy who was electrocuted when he came into contact with a high-voltage power line while sliding down a stockpile at a sand and gravel mine, a man who drowned while swimming in an abandoned quarry, and three young sisters who died after being buried by dirt and boulders when a ledge in a clay pit collapsed during a rainstorm.
MSHA has a Web site to tap into for resources that may be downloaded at www.msha.gov.