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Front Page » July 21, 2005 » Local News » MSHA Launches Campaign to Help Miners Recognize, Avoid Risks
Published 3,319 days ago

MSHA Launches Campaign to Help Miners Recognize, Avoid Risks


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By RICHARD SHAW
General manager

The members of a Castle Valley search and rescue team don state-of-the-art emergency equipment before entering the underground shafts in 1924. With the Mine Safety and Health Administration's new campaign, miners will learn to recognize hazards and take action to mining associated avoid risks.

The United States Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched an initiative designed to help employees and operators focus on human factors like decision-making when at work.

The campaign encourages miners and management to work cooperatively on safety and health issues.

"MSHA will increase its focus on safety decisions during this campaign, which is not a limited time initiative," said David Dye, deputy assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We want miners and management to make the right decisions to ensure the safety and health of America's miners."

Through the make the right decision initiative, miners and management will receive tools to recognize hazards and take appropriate action to correct or avoid risks. As part of the campaign, MSHA officials will conduct safety talks with workers and operators at mine sites nationwide and distribute posters, stickers and fliers with educational messages.

Agency representatives plan to incorporate two programs in the campaign. The first program is SLAM, an acronym for stop, look, analyze and manage. The second is SMART, an acronym for stop, measure, act, review and train. Joined, the two programs address the spectrum of safety decisions made in the mining workplace, from risk assessment at the miner level to risk management at the operator level.

MSHA's enhanced safety push also will reach out to mining industry contractors.

Contractor deaths constitute a disproportionate number of the fatal accidents in the mining industry and MSHA officials will increase efforts to help contractors improve their safety and health programs.

The safety campaign complements MSHA's ongoing efforts to help mining operations comply with federal laws and regulations. The initiative includes assistance from officials of MSHA's small mines office for companies with fewer than five employees.

Carbon County residents with Internet access may review the make the right decision initiative by visiting the federal agency's website at www.msha.gov.


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