MSHA Program Aims to Curb Fatalities

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) unveiled the Safety Targets Training Program to highlight the leading causes of mine fatalities in the 21st century. The program was introduced in conjunction with the agency's annual Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) conference held at the Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W. Va., before about 500 attendees.

"In spite of the dramatic drop in mining fatalities over the last century and recent declines to all time lows, we are still experiencing unnecessary fatal accidents," said acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Richard E. Stickler. "Most of these fatalities occurred not in major disasters, but one and two at a time. While they do not get the attention that some larger mine accidents have received, they are just as tragic and they are preventable."

Ten training modules are in development for coal and metal/nonmetal mines. These 20 topics account for 75 percent of the causes of fatalities that occurred in the targeted nine-year time period. The materials will reach the mining industry through outreach efforts, targeted mass mailings and the MSHA Web site at www.msha.gov.

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