The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is reaching out to nearly 40 mines in northern Nevada to help mine operators improve the quality of safety education at their mine sites.
"Spotlight on Training" will address the disturbing rise in fatalities in the Nevada mining industry, particularly gold mining.
"We plan to reach more than 7,500 miners through this program," said J. Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
Beginning May 31 and running through Sept. 4, MSHA specialists from its Educational Field Services division are conducting in-depth training evaluations at individual mine sites.
Working with instructors from MSHA''s Mine Health and Safety Academy, they are developing training programs in several areas: miners'' rights; accident prevention; supervisory, operator and contractor responsibilities; hazard recognition and task training.
"So far, we''ve received a good deal of support and encouragement from mine operators and miners," said McAteer. "Their cooperation will only serve to improve safety training and reduce the accidents that have plagued northern Nevada."
Between 1990 and 1999, 34 of the nation''s 62 gold mine fatalities occurred in Nevada.
In 1999 alone, eight of Nevada''s nine mining fatalities occurred in gold mines -- nearly 10 percent of mining deaths nationwide.
To date, two miners have died in accidents at Nevada gold mines.
For more information about "Spotlight on Training," go to www.msha.gov.
by Virginia Sutcliffe