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MSHA News Release: [02/01/2008]
Contact:   Amy Louviere    Matthew Faraci
Phone:    (202) 693-9423    (202) 693-9406
Release Number 08-157-ATL


U.S. Labor Department's MSHA kicks off 'Spring Thaw' workshop series
Free mine safety workshop to be held in Brooksville, Fla.


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, is conducting a series of free mine safety workshops nationwide to address special hazards associated with the onset of warmer weather at certain mining operations. The workshops, aptly titled "Spring Thaw," are open to mining industry personnel and require no advance registration. The first one will take place on Feb. 5 in Brooksville, Fla.

"These 'Spring Thaw' workshops will assist miners and mine operators in identifying weather-related hazards brought on by warmer weather at our nation's mining operations," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Warmer weather brings about unique changes in the mining environment, and MSHA is working closely with the stone, sand and gravel industries to help keep workers safe on the job."

The first workshop will take place at the Brooksville Quarry, 11430 Camp Mine Road, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST. MSHA personnel, along with safety and health professionals from various mining companies, will conduct the workshop, which will focus on safe maintenance and repair activities, effective safety and health programs, and the hidden costs of mining accidents. The session will spotlight safety hazards specific to that region of the country.

The timing of the workshop series coincides with the end of winter, when many intermittently-operated mines resume production, often with recent hires new to the mining environment. Statistics show that accidents at stone, sand and gravel operations tend to increase during April and May.

For additional information, contact Curtis Roth in MSHA's Bartow Field Office by phone at 863-533-5390 or visit MSHA's Web site at www.msha.gov.

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