Arlington, VA 22202
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MSHA conducted another in a series of mining industry stakeholder meetings on December 1, 2015 at its headquarters in Arlington to bring stakeholders up to date on various MSHA initiatives, actions and plans for carrying out the mission of miner safety and health. Representatives from both labor and management either attended in person or joined the proceedings by telephone.
Assistant Secretary Joseph Main began the session by running down a list of safety and health improvements over the last several years, including the results of recent MSHA initiatives, such as the one to decrease Metal and Nonmetal fatalities.
“For the first time in mining history,” Assistant Secretary Main told listeners, “we experienced a fatal-free October in the metal and nonmetal mining industry.”
Noting that the month of October had historically the most deadly months for metal and nonmetal mining, he said, “Having a fatal-free October is really an outstanding achievement.”
Main also stated that coal fatalities were at historic lows and talked about how compliance among U.S. mine operators has improved, as evidenced by the significant drop in S&S citations over the past five years. He mentioned as well that the yearly averages of respirable dust concentrations in coal mines were at the lowest levels ever recorded.
Attendees also got a demonstration of MSHA’s new website, which users can now review from the MSHA.gov homepage and provide comments and suggestions by using the submit feedback button.
After the opening hour of the meeting, attendees broke out into two sessions, one for coal representatives and the other for the metal and nonmetal community, for a more detailed discussion of topics of interest to those particular groups.
The Coal breakout group discussed the requirements of Phase II of the new respirable coal mine dust rule, which goes into effect on February 1, 2016 and carried out a general group discussion on other matters. The Metal and Nonmetal group discussed on-going initiatives, including the fatal initiative and the seasonal safety alert about working safely during the holiday period.