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MSHA pilot program aims to boost COVID-19 vaccination among workers

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Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — The Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched a pilot program intended to “encourage and facilitate coronavirus vaccinations for America’s miners and their families.”

With its Mine Vaccine Outreach Program, MSHA is targeting miners in Kentucky and Arizona. Citing data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MSHA notes in a press release that fewer than 60% of residents in those states – sites of “substantial” mine operations – are vaccinated against COVID-19.

In January, MSHA delivered free vaccinations and educational resources to residents in mining communities in both states.

 

MSHA “exists to protect the safety and health of the nation’s miners from hazards in their workplaces,” acting agency administrator Jeannette Galanis said in the release. “COVID-19 has killed more than 860,000 people in the U.S. alone, and like other mining hazards, it demands we take action to prevent workers from suffering needlessly. Providing free COVID-19 vaccinations is a natural extension of our efforts to ensure safe workplaces.”

To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, MSHA recommends miners and mine operators:

  • Avoid close contact, putting 6 feet between themselves and others.
  • Routinely clean and disinfect equipment and other frequently touched surfaces.
  • Wash hands frequently, using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t readily available.
  • Stay home if they feel sick.

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