Rock Products

NOV 2014

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Page 48 of 61 ROCK products • NOVEMBER 2014 45 45 MSHA Issues Third-Quarter Fatality Data The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Ad‐ ministration released a summary of U.S. mining deaths that occurred during the third quarter of 2014. From July 1 to Sept. 30, eight miners were killed in accidents at work, including five in metal and nonmetal mining and three in coal mining. during the same period in 2013, nine miners died in mining accidents. The fatalities bring the number of U.S. mining deaths to a total of 30 in the first three quarters of 2014. Of the five fatalities in metal and nonmetal mining, two miners died in powered haulage accidents when they were pinned by a front‐end loader and a forklift, respectively, one miner died in an electrical accident, one died as a result of falling material and one was killed in a fall. One of the fatalities was a con‐ tractor, and two were supervisors. All of the deaths occurred on the surface. These types of acci‐ dents could be prevented following best practices for block‐ ing against hazardous motion, using personal protection equipment and following lockout‐tagout procedures, the agency said. Of the three fatalities in coal mining, one miner died in an elec‐ trical accident underground, another was killed in a machin‐ ery accident at a surface operation, and the third died as a result of a powered haulage accident when he was crushed by diesel equipment underground. "These deaths are a harsh reminder of why mines must be vig‐ ilant in ensuring effective safety programs and fostering a cul‐ ture of safety first," said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health Joseph A. Main. "Our hearts go out to the families of these miners." MSHA has launched a number of initiatives in recent years to assist mine operators with mine health and safety and to iden‐ tify mines with chronic health and safety problems for en‐ forcement actions. "We believe those efforts, along with initiatives by the mining industry, are making a difference, but clearly more needs to be done," Main said. Summaries of the accidents, and lists of best practices that might have prevented them, are available at /fatals/fab.htm, along with an analysis of third‐quarter mining fatalities. MSHA Celebrates Mine Rescue Day The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Ad‐ ministration commemorated the second annual Mine Res‐ cue Day on Thursday, Oct. 30, during a meeting of the Holmes Mine Rescue Association at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, W.Va. "Mine rescue is among the most risky and challenging res‐ cue work undertaken in this country," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These brave rescuers often travel miles in the dark, navi‐ gating underground mine workings filled with debris and poisonous and explosive gases after devastating mine fires, explosions or cave‐ins, trying to find missing miners or re‐ covering those who did not survive. We owe these volun‐ teers from the mining community the best training and support available for such high‐risk missions. And on Mine Rescue Day, we especially owe them the recognition they deserve for putting their own lives on the line to help their fellow miners." On this date last year, the newly created national Holmes Mine Rescue Association, which mine emergency response stakeholders overwhelmingly supported, formally came into existence. The HMRA provides support and guidance for mine rescue to the more than 13,000 mines through‐ out the country. It also serves as a vehicle to disseminate guidelines, training and tools to the mining community. In 2010, MSHA began an extensive review of mining com‐ munity's mine emergency response strategies to identify shortcomings, and that evaluation process has resulted in several actions and improvements. In addition to the cre‐ ation of the HMRA MSHA has: • Invested in the development of state‐of‐the‐art tech‐ nology to make mine rescue safer and quicker. • Added a new mine rescue response station in Madis‐ onville, Ky., to service the Midwest. • Upgraded the agency's mobile response vehicles and command center equipment. • Held mock mine emergencies with mining companies. • Revised the criteria for mine rescue team certification to include hands‐on skills training. • Overhauled the national mine rescue training contests, which has led to greater stakeholder participation.

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