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Recent miner deaths spur launch of MSHA safety campaign

Photo: Mine Safety and Health Administration

Arlington, VA — Responding to what the agency calls an “unacceptable trend” of recent miner deaths stemming from inadequate training and inattention, the Mine Safety and Health Administration has launched a campaign intended to reiterate to mine operators their responsibility to ensure safe workplaces and prevent fatal incidents.

As part of its Take Time, Save Lives campaign, MSHA offers training materials, best practices and other resources related to multiple areas, including:

MSHA recorded 37 miner fatalities last year, including 17 involving powered haulage incidents. The preliminary total comes after six straight years in which fewer than 30 miners died on the job.


As of March 8, three of the 10 miner fatalities recorded this year were related to powered haulage incidents. MSHA engineers estimate that three to four miners’ lives could be saved each year if adequate seat belts were provided and worn.

“The purpose of this new campaign is simple: Mine operators need to take the time to train miners on equipment and safety protocols, and miners need to take time to remember their training before they begin a task,” acting agency administrator Jeannette Galanis said in a press release. “While the Take Time, Save Lives campaign specifically highlights best practices for frequently occurring incidents, our goal is to reach miners with a wide-ranging set of resources.

“MSHA will continue to ensure miners have the knowledge to stay safe on the job, but it’s up to mine operators to make sure that miners are fully trained and able to take time to follow best safety practices that can prevent deadly accidents.”

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