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MSHA News Release: [03/03/2008]
Contact:   Matthew Faraci   Amy Louviere
Phone:   (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 08-287-SEA


Mine safety workshops address effects of seasonal changes at mine sites
Locations include California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state


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. "Spring Thaw" workshops will be held during March and April in California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon and Washington state.

"These 'Spring Thaw' workshops will assist miners and mine operators in identifying hazards encountered when re-starting mining operations that may have been closed during winter months," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "In addition, 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: For additional information, please visit MSHA's Web site at www.msha.gov.

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