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DOL Press Release - 05-1950-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MSHA Develops Core Safety Principles in Alliance with National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

ARLINGTON, Va -The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced safety program fundamentals to help aggregate mine operators start or enhance a safety or health program that achieves positive results. A document containing core safety principles was developed during alliance meetings between MSHA and the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA).

"We want mine operators to embrace these core safety principles as part of getting to zero fatalities and injuries," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These safety program elements help create a culture that prevents injuries and illnesses."

The document's core safety elements include information about safety directors, training and development, employee involvement, incident investigations and recognition programs. Other topics describe auditing work practices, safety communication and regulatory compliance programs. The document will undergo ongoing modifications to incorporate input from mine operators, safety officials, and MSHA and NSSGA staff.

During visits to job sites nationwide, MSHA mine inspectors will distribute a one-page document to mine operators explaining the program. In a two-pronged approach, inspectors will encourage mine operators to call officials at MSHA or NSSGA. Those wanting assistance will either receive help from a company mentor program through NSSGA or through compliance assistance efforts from MSHA's Office of Small Mines or the Education and Field Services Division.

MSHA signed an alliance with NSSGA on Feb. 11, 2003, to help stone, sand and gravel workers by developing training and education programs to reduce and prevent mine hazards. As part of the alliance agreement, the two organizations develop and share with the mining community best practices and effective approaches to improve mine safety and health.

MSHA's primary mission as a federal agency is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's mines. The core safety principles can be viewed on the Internet at www.msha.gov.

     See Core Principles