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DOL News Release No. 04-1115-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert
Phone: (202) 693-9420

Released Monday, June 21, 2004

Holmes Safety Association to Consider Recognition of Individual Miners

ARLINGTON, Va. - The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association will discuss creating a program to recognize miners nationwide who have worked safely for an extended time at its annual meeting June 22-24 in Wheeling, W.Va., according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

"I strongly support formal recognition of miners who consistently work day after day, focusing on safe work practices and with a determination to keep themselves and their co-workers safe and healthy," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "The professionalism exhibited by safety-conscious miners should be recognized and appreciated."

During this year's meeting in Wheeling, the association will conduct sessions on miner safety and health, recognize individuals for promoting the group's goals, and elect executive officers for next year.

MSHA is a key supporter of the Holmes Safety Association, the nation's oldest and largest safety organization dedicated to promoting miner safety and health.

"We value the work of the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association, which has played a major role in helping to increase awareness of mine safety and health hazards among working miners, mine operators and state and federal mine safety officials," added Lauriski.

More than 350,000 employees of mining operations and associated industries are represented in the Holmes Safety Association through a national council, seven state councils, 100 district councils and approximately 7,600 local chapters in communities nationwide. Established in 1916 and named after the first director of the U.S. Bureau of Mines, the Holmes organization works to promote effective management of safety in mining by providing a forum for government, industry and labor to develop solutions to mine safety and health issues through communication, education and recognition of safety excellence.

The annual meeting will be held at Oglebay Park, located at 1801 National Road in Wheeling. Further information on the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association is on the Internet at http://www.holmessafety.org.