Rock Products

AUG 2012

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RANDY K. LOGSDON MSHA Releases Midyear Mine Fatality Update The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) released a midyear summary of mining deaths across the country. During the first half of 2012, 19 miners died in work‐related accidents at the nation's mines. Among nine metal and nonmetal mining deaths, four were attributed to powered haulage incidents, two were the result of a falling face/rib/highwall, and one each was linked to an accident involving machinery, falling material and a person falling. Among 10 coal mining deaths, three resulted from slips or falls, two from rib falls and one each from the follow‐ ing categories: exploding vessels under pressure, drowning, handling materials, machinery and electri‐ cal. An uncharacteristic trend identified is that five of these fatalities – three involving mine supervisors – oc‐ curred on five consecutive weekends. "While 19 is the second‐lowest number of mining deaths recorded in mining midyear, we know that these deaths are preventable," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Many mines operate every shift of every day, year in and year out, without a fatality or a lost‐time injury. Mining workplaces can and must be made safe for all miners." MSHA has taken a number of actions to identify mines with health and safety problems, and has initiated sev‐ eral outreach and enforcement initiatives, including "Rules to Live By," a fatality prevention program high‐ lighting the safety and health standards most fre‐ quently cited during fatal accident investigations. Fatalities can be prevented by using effective safety‐ and‐health management programs in the workplace. Workplace examinations for hazards – pre‐shift and on‐shift, every shift – can identify and eliminate haz‐ ards that kill and injure miners. Effective and appropri‐ ate training positions miners to recognize and understand hazards and find ways to control or elimi‐ nate them. Furthermore, miners must be free to exer‐ cise their rights under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 and be full participants in maintain‐ ing a safe and healthful workplace.E Randy K. Logsdon, CMSP, is manager of safety for Intrepid Potash New Mex- ico operations. He has practiced safety on both the coal and metal/non- metal side of mining for more than 30 years. Randy is a Certified Mine Safety Professional. He can be reached at JAMES SHARPE James Sharpe holds a master's degree in envi- ronmental health sci- ences and is certified in the comprehensive prac- tice of industrial hygiene, health and safety. He can be reached at ELLEN SMITH Ellen Smith is the owner of Legal Publication Services, publisher of Mine Safety & Health News, www.mine- She has been covering mining issues since 1987 and has won 31 journalism awards for her reporting, including the 2010 Magnum Opus Award for Outstanding Achieve- ment in Custom Media. Ellen can be reached at 585-721-3211, or at ROCKproducts • AUGUST 2012 47

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