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DOL/MSHA News Release
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: (202) 693-9423

Released Tuesday, April 2, 2003

MSHA Develops Educational Poster Aimed at Keeping Children Safe
Poster to Augment Safety Message in "Stay Out-Stay Alive" Public Awareness Campaign


ARLINGTON, Va.- The U. S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in collaboration with the National Energy Foundation, has developed an instructional poster aimed at educating school-age children about the dangers of playing on active and abandoned mine properties. It is part of a collection of materials designed to publicize the safety message of "Stay Out-Stay Alive," a national public awareness campaign spearheaded by MSHA.

"This poster provides an excellent source of information for children and teachers alike about the importance of acting responsibly, making sound choices, and avoiding the hazards that untrained or unauthorized individuals may encounter when entering mine property," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

"I am delighted that MSHA joined forces with the National Energy Foundation and nearly 20 other organizations to develop such a useful instructional tool," Lauriski added. "Anything we can do to make children and adults aware of the dangers of exploring old mine shafts or swimming in abandoned quarries is a worthwhile endeavor."

Every year, dozens of people are injured or killed while exploring or playing on mine property. MSHA launched "Stay Out-Stay Alive" in 1999 to educate children and adults about the potential hazards, including shaft cave-ins, toxic air, slippery cliffs, rotting timbers and poisonous insects. The campaign is a partnership of more than 70 federal and state agencies, private organizations, businesses and individuals. The 2003 campaign will run April 20-May 3.

"Act Responsibly: Stay Out-Stay Alive/Developing and Applying Safety Practices and Leadership Principles" is a 23" by 35" poster that depicts a large colorful map of the United States and features illustrations of mining operations in various geographical areas. Ten "Safety Situations" describe scenarios children may encounter on mine property, along with ten corresponding "Leadership Principles." On the back side, teacher resources include sections on surface and underground hazards, abandoned mines and toxic air, benefits of mining, technological advances and mining careers.

The National Energy Foundation is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to the development of educational materials relating primarily to energy, water, natural resources, science and math, technology, conservation, and the environment. They have designed more than 45 instructional posters in their 27-year history.

The NEF web site may be viewed at: http://www.nef1.org