MSHA praises mining safety record

MSHA Administrator Joe Main lauded the agency and operators for the reduced number of fatalities in 2015 when speaking at a January industry stakeholder meeting. There were 134 consecutive days with no fatalities in the metal/non-metal sector, the longest stretch in MSHA’s history, and for the first time ever, there were no MNM fatalities in the month of October.

“NSSGA [National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association] and our industry remain committed to safety,” said Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety. “We are pleased to see that MSHA is engaged in more outreach to operations, which can help to boost compliance and safety.”

MSHA was especially pleased with the period of safe operations from Aug. 4 to Dec. 31, 2015, and reported that the year closed with 17 fatalities in the metal/non-metal sector. Five of those were employees of aggregates companies.

Of the 54 fatalities that occurred since October 2013, 24 percent were caused by falls and 24 percent were caused by powered haulage, and 30 percent occurred on Mondays while 19 percent occurred on Fridays.

The job function most frequently involved in fatalities is a mechanic.

MSHA is committed to more stakeholder outreach in 2016. The agency seeks sponsors of future outreach events in the Midwest, specifically Chicago area, during the summer, and the Southwest, near Albuquerque, NM, this Fall. MSHA also seeks input from operators who are willing to share best practices.

On this point, NSSGA will next month share a Safety Alert addressing hazards tied to machinery, a segment accounting for approximately eight percent of all aggregates injuries. For more information, contact Casper at 703-526-1074 or

The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association

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