Compliance help for small mines

It is the small mines – those with ten or fewer employees – that face the most daunting challenges in complying with standards and managing for workplace safety and health, says the The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association.

But there is help for these operators, according to MSHA Alliance co-chairs Neal Merrifield, of MSHA, and Louis Griesemer, of Springfield Underground.

MSHA’s Educational Field and Small Mine Services exists to assist operators in the development or improvement of health and safety programs and works closely with district enforcement offices to identify industry needs and provide assistance to mines with safety and health issues.

Personnel do not inspect operations or issue citations, Merrifield and Griesemer told industry executives in a recent Alliance newsletter. Instead the EFSMS offers a range of services to reduce accidents and provide a comprehensive analysis of how a specific facility can provide safety and health training and compliance with standards (eg Part 50 reporting).

The EFSMS can also hand out Toolbox Talks on dozens of key topics, including:

  • Conveyor safety
  • Equipment inspection
  • Ground control
  • Guarding
  • Hazard communication
  • Hearing conservation
  • Miners’ rights
  • Mobile equipment
  • Respiratory protection
  • Rules to Live By

The aggregates industry and MSHA have a vested interest in operations that keep the health and safety of workers in the forefront and comply with standards. Learn more by visiting or contact Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety, at (703) 526-1074 or

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

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