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MSHA News Release No. 2000-0614
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Wednesday, June 14, 2000


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 within the Nevada mining industry, particularly in 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 Labor Day, 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 new, cohesive training programs in several key 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.

"Spotlight on Training" marks a continuation of efforts by MSHA to address fatalities at gold mining operations. Last April, McAteer met with members of labor and management from Barrick Goldstrike and Getchell Gold to discuss their safety programs. MSHA officials also have worked with representatives of the Nevada Mining Association to evaluate education and training programs.