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Holiday Hazard

The onset of winter brings about many mine safety problems. Underground mines get dryer, creating dust and roof control problems. Surface mines have to deal with cold, wet, freezing conditions. Beside the physical conditions, planning for holiday celebrations, shopping, and family get-togethers create their own distractions. One mine used the miners' generosity to maintain the employees focus on safety. Right after Thanksgiving, a large Christmas tree was set up at the mine and the employees were invited to bring non-perishable food items for local charities. The company also pledged to donate a set amount of food, ($300 worth in this instance, but that was several years ago) every week the mine worked without a lost time accident. Between the donations of the miners and the company's awards, by Christmas the pile of food reached the ceiling. There were nearly two truckloads of food given to the local churches and charity organizations to distribute to the needy. The miners and the company really felt great for the good work they had done, but the four weeks of no lost time accidents also meant that none of the miners' families had to deal with a loved one being hurt or worse over the holidays.