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DOL/MSHA Media Advisory
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (202) 693-9425

Released Tuesday, July 1, 2003

MSHA Alerts Coal Miners to Current Trends

Arlington, Va -- Coal Mine Safety and Health inspectors with the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are carrying the word about current safety trends to coal miners throughout the nation.

"To make safety a value throughout the industry so every miner can return home safe at the end of the day, miners and mine operators need to be aware of trends in fatalities and other serious incidents," said Dave D. Lauriski, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.

Special concerns right now in coal mines include maintenance and repair of mining equipment and the use, transportation, and storage of explosives, MSHA said. MSHA inspection personnel are taking time during regular coal mine inspections to discuss accident and injury trends with miners and supervisors.

Maintenance and repair activities have led to 5 fatalities and 95 nonfatal incidents in coal mines during the past two-year period. In addition, two blasting incidents this year have renewed the focus on safe use of explosives.

"This is an example of the way that MSHA uses enforcement, education and training, and technical assistance - what we call our Triangle of Success -- to address hazards," Lauriski said.

MSHA is dedicated to preventing fatalities, injuries and illnesses in America's mines. For more information, visit www.msha.gov.