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DOL Press Release - 05-1300-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Wednesday, July 13, 2005

MSHA Launches New Safety and Health Initiative

ARLINGTON, Va.- The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today launched "Make the Right Decision," a safety and health initiative that helps miners and mine operators focus on human factors, such as decision-making, when at work. The campaign encourages miners and mine management to work together on safety and health issues.

"MSHA will increase its focus on safety decisions during this campaign, which is not a limited-time initiative," said David G. Dye, deputy assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We want miners and management to make the right decisions to ensure the safety and health of America's miners."

Through "Make the Right Decision," miners and mine management will receive tools to help them recognize hazards and take appropriate action to correct or avoid risks. As part of the educational initiative, MSHA officials will conduct safety talks with miners and mine operators at mine sites nationwide and distribute posters, stickers and fliers with campaign messages.

Agency representatives plan to incorporate two programs in the "Make-the-Right-Decision" campaign. The first program is SLAM, an acronym for stop, look, analyze and manage. The second is SMART, an acronym for stop, measure, act, review and train. Together, these programs address the spectrum of safety decisions made in the mining workplace, from risk assessment at the miner level to risk management at the operator level.

MSHA's enhanced safety push also will reach out to mining industry contractors. Contractor deaths constitute a disproportionate number of the fatal accidents in the mining industry, and MSHA officials will increase efforts to help contractors improve their safety and health programs.

The safety campaign complements MSHA's ongoing efforts to help mining operations comply with and better understand federal mining laws and regulations and includes assistance from officials of the MSHA Small Mines Office for those operations with fewer than five miners.

MSHA's primary mission is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's mines. Information about "Make the Right Decision" can be viewed on the Internet at www.msha.gov.