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DOL/MSHA News Release No. 03-66
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (202) 693-9425

Released Tuesday, February 11, 2003

MSHA, NSSGA Form Innovative Mine Safety Alliance

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The U. S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has formed a unique alliance with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) to prevent injuries and illnesses at U. S. aggregate operations. The NSSGA, a trade organization which represents stone, sand and gravel mining operations nationwide, will work closely with MSHA in the promotion of safe working conditions, development of effective miner training programs, and the expansion of mine safety and health outreach and communication.

"I am especially pleased about this partnership to promote safety and health in the stone, sand and gravel industry," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "For the first time ever, MSHA and an industry association have jointly agreed to adopt safety and health performance goals with objective measures. This alone is unprecedented. They obviously see safety as a value."

"This agreement signals a new era of cooperation between the aggregates industry and government," said Jennifer Joy Wilson, NSSGA president and CEO. NSSGA members value their workers as their greatest asset, and their safety and health is the highest priority."

In addition to the performance goals, NSSGA will work jointly with MSHA to develop training and education programs on reducing mine hazards as well as dissemination of information on mine safety and health at conferences, events, or through print and electronic media. NSSGA will cooperate with MSHA to evaluate applied engineering to improve mine safety.

Both groups will work to promote a national dialogue on mine safety and health by sharing information on best practices or effective approaches to eliminating mining hazards, as jointly determined by MSHA and NSSGA. The alliance will conduct this dialogue with others in the mining industry through individual or joint outreach.

"I'm proud that we have reached this agreement because it's the first of its kind in the mining industry," said Lauriski. "NSSGA is again showing its leadership. There is one key phrase in the agreement that truly sums up this pact: 'We need a culture of prevention.'"