201 12th Street South, Arlington, VA 22202
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On Wednesday, January 13th from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. ET MSHA is holding a stakeholder meeting with metal and nonmetal mining industry leaders. Additional background on some of the issues we will discuss at the meeting can be found below.
Please click here to RSVP to let us know if you’ll be joining the meeting in-person or via phone/webinar.
To join in-person:
To join by phone/webinar:
To view meeting materials click here.
Additional Background from Assistant Secretary Joe Main
In calendar years 2011, 2012 and through fiscal year (FY) 2013, the metal and nonmetal mining industry experienced the safest years in mining history. That changed in October of 2013, as deaths at these mines began to rise. In early 2014, MSHA called the mining community together and began initiatives to reverse that trend, including enhanced enforcement and education and outreach efforts to provide the mining community with updated information on mining deaths and best practices to prevent them. We also began quarterly, national conference calls with mine safety trainers across the country.
On August 3, 2015, 3 separate fatal accidents occurred in metal and nonmetal mines - a wakeup call that we all needed to do more to prevent mining deaths. These fatalities brought the total deaths in FY 2015 to 23 and to 15 for the calendar year. The next day, I issued an “all hands on deck” call to the agency to respond with more MSHA boots on the ground and to increase enforcement and outreach efforts, including more "walk and talks" and focused inspections at mines that need more attention. MSHA added additional coal enforcement personnel to help with this initiative and MSHA’s field training staff devoted full attention to the effort.
On August 5, 2015 I called metal and nonmetal stakeholders across the nation together apprising them of our fatality prevention efforts and urging them to get involved. MSHA Metal and Nonmetal Administrator Neal Merrifield spearheaded initiatives to focus industry attention on specific hazards or conditions contributing to the deaths. In October 2015, which is historically the mining industry’s deadliest month, MSHA issued the “Seasonal Safety” alert to call attention to hazards as mines prepare for winter shutdowns. In November 2015, MSHA partnered with the Industrial Minerals Association and issued the Confined Space initiative, and in December 2015, Metal and Nonmetal issued a “Go Home for the Holidays” alert. Stakeholders across the country joined these efforts in one of the largest concerted actions between MSHA and industry.
The extensive efforts by MSHA and the mining community resulted in the safest period in metal and nonmetal history. Since implementation of the August 2015 initiatives, the metal and nonmetal mining industry has seen the longest stretch in mining history without a single death – 134 days from August 3 through December 15, 2015. It was the first time in recorded history with no mining deaths in the month of October. Two deaths in December brought the total of metal and nonmetal mining deaths to 17 for the 2015 calendar year, down from 29 deaths in 2014.
To sustain these results and maintain progress, I directed MSHA to continue these enhanced actions and initiatives and call on mining industry stakeholders to do the same. In the coming months, MSHA will be partnering with associations to issue safety alerts and initiatives. I am asking mining associations, labor organizations, mining companies and state agencies across the country to sign on as supporters of these initiatives.
If you want to be added as a sponsor and partner in MSHA’s safety initiatives, please contact MSHA’s Metal and Nonmetal office at 202-693-9600.