ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration will convene a meeting of mine industry stakeholders in the wake of a dramatic increase in metal and nonmetal mining deaths. The meeting will address the causes of recent deaths, identify actions needed to prevent them and work to reverse the trend.
Since the beginning of this year, there have been nine fatalities in the metal and nonmetal sector. Nine of the 22 metal and nonmetal deaths that occurred in 2013 happened in the fourth quarter.
"The recent news on the rise in mining fatalities is disturbing," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We plan to engage all of our tools: enforcement, education and training, and technical support, to respond to this trend."
"It is clear that, at some of the operations involved, basic health and safety protections are not always in place," Main said. "MSHA will provide operators with specific information on the causes and particular issues surrounding each of these deaths, and we will discuss actions needed to prevent these types of fatalities in the future."
The stakeholder summit will take place Monday, May 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. EDT at MSHA Headquarters in Arlington.