US MSHA calls for mine operators to reduce fatalities after increase in deaths

5 May 2014 (Last Updated May 5th, 2014 18:30)

The US Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has called mining stakeholders in the country to take measures to reduce the number fatalities, following eight deaths in the last quarter.

The US Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has called mining stakeholders in the country to take measures to reduce the number fatalities, following eight deaths in the last quarter.

According to MSHA, eight miners died in accidents during the first quarter of this year, from 1 January to 31 March.

The agency stated that of the eight incidents, three were in coal mining and five were in metal and non-metal mining accidents.

"MSHA will be paying close attention to these deficiencies, as well as the types of hazards and conditions that have led to these deaths."

MSHA assistant secretary of labour for mine safety and health Joseph A. Main said: "We have seen a spike in deaths in the second quarter of 2014 as well, primarily in metal and non-metal mining, which has experienced 19 fatalities since last October."

"MSHA takes this increase very seriously and has called a summit of the key metal and non-metal stakeholders to identify the problem and take actions to reverse it."

During the meeting with stakeholders on 5 May, the MSHA provided detailed information about the 19 deaths since 2013 that occurred at crushed stone, sand and gravel, silver, cement, lime, gold, granite, clay and iron ore mining operations in 12 states across the country.

Of the 19 deaths, six occurred at underground mines and 13 at surface mines.

Main said that mine operators need to re-evaluate the quality of the training miners are given and the examinations of miner work places, which appear to be lacking.

"MSHA will be paying close attention to these deficiencies, as well as the types of hazards and conditions that have led to these deaths, during mine inspections," Main added.

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