MSHA Announces Increased Fatality Prevention Efforts

The agency made the announcement in the wake of two mining stakeholder safety summits and 20 mining deaths since October 2013.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration announced it will be stepping up its efforts to curb mine fatalities. The agency made the announcement after two mine stakeholder safety summits that were held in less than four weeks.

Personnel from MSHA's coal and metal/nonmetal programs will be visiting mines across the United States giving safety "walk and talks" in which they will talk with miners and mine operators about the recent fatalities. The personnel will also encourage the miners to remain vigilant about their safety training in order to counteract the recent rise in mining deaths.

Other discussion topics for the "walk and talks" will include mine examinations, task training, causes of mining fatalities, and best practices to prevent mine accidents. According to MSHA, since October 2013, 20 miners have been killed (including six supervisors) in mining accidents. MSHA held a summit to discuss what caused these deaths on May 5, 2014.

"MSHA is using all of its tools—education and outreach, training, and enforcement—to prevent these accidents," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "But it will also take the efforts of those outside the agency—operators, miners, and trainers—to turn this troubling trend around."

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