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DOL Press Release - 05-1765-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Al Belsky
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-1898

Released Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Top MSHA and OSHA Officials Highlight U.S. and World Efforts to Improve Safety at Orlando Safety Congress

ORLANDO, Fla. —Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health David G. Dye and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health Jonathan Snare spoke today at the World Congress on Safety and Health at Work in Orlando, Fla., about U.S. efforts and those of safety professionals around the world to improve worker safety and health.

Dye cited better safety decisions by miners, improved safety in mines and the federal government's efforts to ensure the safety of American miners as the reasons why U.S. mining fatalities fell to historical lows.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has also worked with other countries to improve workplace safety and has agreements with China to improve safety in its mines by training government inspectors about mine safety inspection techniques, teaching mine operators about best practices and training miners about safe mining methods. MSHA continues to work with its Chinese counterparts on accident emergency response and collecting and analyzing mine safety data.

"While we work closely with China to help them make their mines safe and healthful workplaces, we also have close relationships with many other countries to share expertise and ideas on mine safety and health," Dye said.

Last year, for example, delegations from Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Russia, Ukraine and Uzbekistan visited the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W.Va.

"We look forward to maintaining our involvement with the international mining community and continuing to build productive relationships for years to come," Dye said.

Snare, who heads the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), pointed out that safety and health professionals across the globe have been called upon in recent months to respond to natural disasters, such as the tsunami that struck South and Southeast Asia, record floods in central and southern Europe, and the hurricane that devastated portions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Snare thanked the more than 50 countries that have offered and provided assistance to the United States in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

"Hurricane Katrina, the Danube floods and the tsunami remind us of the precious value of life," Snare said. "In this respect, I think all of us here today are blessed because our life's work is dedicated to saving the lives of others."

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