rlando, FL – The National Safety Council and the Mine Safety and Health Administration announced today plans to renew an alliance to decrease injury and death in the mining industry. The alliance between NSC and MSHA would pool resources to create a more focused approach to developing safety and health programs for the mining industry as well as educational outreach to the public, especially children, about the dangers of abandoned mines.
Every year, dozens of people are injured or killed in recreational accidents on mine property. MSHA launched "Stay Out–Stay Alive" in 1999 to educate the public about the existing hazards. The campaign is a partnership of more than 70 federal and state agencies, private organizations, businesses and individuals. Throughout the year, "Stay Out–Stay Alive" partners visit schools, communities and youth organizations around the country to educate children about the importance of steering clear of active and abandoned mines.
Through the renewed alliance with MSHA, NSC will continue to expand its involvement with the “Stay Out-Stay Alive” national public awareness campaign. In addition, NSC will collaborate with MSHA in various areas from developing and distributing educational CDs, DVDs and interactive web-based programs, to attending conferences to speak on safety and health in the mining profession, to working cooperatively to present accurate statistical information on mining and minerals operations in the United States.
“While cooperation through alliances such as this and prevention initiatives have contributed to making mining safer in recent years, even one incident is too many,” said Alan C. McMillan, NSC President and CEO. “The National Safety Council remains focused on reducing risks for professionals in this industry and the members of its communities. We will continue to work cooperatively to instill a culture of safety in mining as well as influence individuals to avoid abandoned mines.”
According to data from MSHA, mine accidents have declined dramatically in number and severity through decades of research, technology, and preventive programs. Today, mine accidents resulting in five or more deaths are no longer common. However, preventing recurrence of disasters like those of the past remains a top priority requiring constant vigilance by management, labor, and government.
Total deaths in all types of U.S. mining, which had averaged 1,500 or more during the early part of the last century, decreased on average during the 1990's, to fewer than 100 and reached a record low of 80 in 1998. There were 87 mining fatalities in 1999. The average injuries annually to miners have also decreased steadily.
The mission of the Mine Safety and Health Administration is to administer the provisions of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act) and to enforce compliance with mandatory safety and health standards as a means to eliminate fatal accidents; to reduce the frequency and severity of nonfatal accidents; to minimize health hazards; and to promote improved safety and health conditions in the Nation's mines.
The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads, through leadership, research, education and advocacy.