'Spring Thaw' Mine Safety Workshops Planned in March, April

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration, in cooperation with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, recently announced it will be 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 (No RSVP required):

  • March 12: Holiday Inn, 3300 S. Vista Ave., Boise, Idaho, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT. Contact: Ron Jacobsen, 208-334-1835.
  • March 26: Henderson Convention Center, 200 S. Water St., Henderson, Nev., 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Contact: Bart Wrobel, 702-294-0931.
  • March 26: UNR Fire Science Academy, 100 University Ave., Carlin, Nev., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT. Contact: James Fitch, 775-753-4732.
  • April 1: Phoenix Inn and Suites, 3410 Spicer Dr., SE, Albany, Ore., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Contact: Brad Breland, 541-924-8495.
  • April 3: Hilton Ontario Airport, 700 N. Haven Ave., Ontario, Calif., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT. Contact: Kevin Hirsch, 909-890-1987.
  • April 7: Centerpoint Business Park, 20809 72nd Ave., Kent, Wash., 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. PDT. Contact: Steve Cain, 253-395-9585.

For more information, visit www.msha.gov.

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