MSHA, Partner Bring Training Toolbox to Aggregates Industry

Bidding to help more than 9,600 sand, gravel, and crushed stone mines in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, “Safety Pro in a Box” includes modules on various hazards.

The more than 9,600 sand, gravel and crushed stone mines in the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands have a new tool for training their employees about the hazards these mines may present. Because many of these mine operators are new to the industry and small, the Mine Safety and Health Administration collaborated with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association to develop an online education and training toolbox for the aggregates industry.

"Safety Pro in a Box" includes handbooks on accident/illness reporting and metal/nonmetal inspection procedures; instructor guides for conducting safety and health audits at aggregates operations; on-the-job training modules for sand, gravel, and crushed stone mines; an instructor guide for establishing an occupational health program for respirable crystalline silica; and training modules on highwall hazards, PPE, hearing conservation and workplace exams.

A message to users says the tool "is intended to provide meaningful compliance assistance to new operators in the aggregates industry," adding, "At this critical point, it is essential that mine operators do all that's possible to fully comply with safety and health regulations and standards. Furthermore, these compliance materials should be seen as just a 'floor' in the on-going effort to make aggregate workplaces as safe and healthy as possible. All of these training materials have been produced by the Mine Academy of the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Representatives of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) worked with Academy officials to cull MSHA's vast instructive resources to pull out these materials that can provide specific and substantial compliance assistance to mine operators. We must note that – while very instructive – these materials do not cover all elements needed for full compliance with MSHA regulations and standards. We encourage you to contact your local MSHA district or field office for additional information. NSSGA members may direct any questions to Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president for safety. He can be reached at 703-526-1074/jcasper@nssga.org.

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