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MSHA News Release: [02/28/2008]
Contact:   Matthew Faraci   Amy Louviere
Phone:   (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 08-279-CHI


Mine safety workshops address effects of seasonal changes at mine sites
Locations include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin


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 sessions, called "Spring Thaw" workshops, will be held in March in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

"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 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 during this time."

During the workshops, MSHA personnel, along with safety and health professionals from various mining companies, will focus on hazard assessments and safe work procedures regarding mobile equipment, safe maintenance and workplace examinations, among other related topics. The workshops also will spotlight safety hazards specific to this region.

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.

Schedule of Workshops (No RSVP required):

March 4: Holiday Inn, Division Street and 37th Ave., St. Cloud, Minn., 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CST
Contact: Chris Hensler, 515-955-5383

March 4: AmericInn, 4115 Barbican Ave., Weston, Wis., 8:15 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. CST
Contact: Paul Blome, 906-228-6805

March 4 and 5: Starved Rock Lodge, 2668 East 875th Road, Utica, Ill., Noon to 5 p.m. CST on March 4,
7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CST on March 5, Contact: Kevin LeGrand, 815-223-0697

March 6: Findlay Inn, 200 East Main Cross St., Findlay, Ohio, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST
Contact: Dennis Dobosh, 740-928-0479

March 6: Indiana Wesleyan University, 3777 Priority Way South Drive, Indianapolis, Ind., 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. EST
Contact: Gene Upton, 812-882-0696

March 19: Holiday Inn North, 4800 Merle Hay Road, Des Moines, Iowa, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. CDT
Contact: Bill Owen, 515-955-5383

March 27: Soaring Eagle Inn, 5665 East Pickard Road, Mount Pleasant, Minn., 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. CDT
Contact: Fred Tisdale, 517-377-1751


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