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DOL News Release - 05-229-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Eryn Witcher
Phone: (202) 693-4676
Contact: Suzy Bohnert
Phone: (202) 693-9420


Released Thursday, February 10, 2005

MSHA's Safety Seminars Address Seasonal Mining Hazards
Agency, Industry Holding 49 Sessions in 40 States Through April


ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in cooperation with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, will conduct 49 free, no-registration workshops in 40 states to address the special hazards produced by the onset of warmer weather at the nation's mining operations.

"As warmer weather arrives, the thawing effect can cause geological shifts and changes that can impact the safety of working miners," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We also know that many intermittently operated mining sites will begin starting up operations soon, many with newly hired workers who need to be adequately educated and trained about the potential hazards they'll face in the mining workplace."

Because statistics show that mining accidents tend to increase during April and May, MSHA personnel and safety and health professionals from various mining companies will share information and experiences in dealing with the particular hazards mine operators will face as spring approaches.

"We need to get a firm grip on the underlying causes of mining accidents and address the causes before they bring tragedy to any family or community. We believe these workshops are an important tool for defining, isolating and removing hazards working miners may face this time of year," Dye said.

Three workshops will be conducted in Texas, more than any other state. California, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, Tennessee and New York will each host two sessions. For a complete list of workshops with times and locations log on to MSHA's Web site at www.msha.gov and click on Upcoming Events.

MSHA is committed to helping mine operators maintain a safe and healthful work environment through effective compliance assistance efforts.