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MSHA News Release: [02/12/2008]
Contact:    Matthew Faraci   Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9406    (202) 693-9423
Release Number 08-189-PHI

Mine safety workshops address effects of seasonal changes at mine sites
Sessions to be held in New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in cooperation with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, is conducting a series of free mine safety workshops nationwide to address special hazards associated with the onset of warmer weather at certain mining operations. The sessions, called "Spring Thaw" workshops, will be held in February and March in New Hampshire, New York and Pennsylvania. Registration for each seven-hour session will begin at 8:30 a.m. EST.

"These 'Spring Thaw' workshops will assist miners and mine operators in identifying hazards encountered when re-starting mining operations that may have been closed during winter months," said Richard E. Stickler, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "In addition, warmer weather brings about changes in the mining environment, and MSHA is working closely with the stone, sand and gravel industries to help keep workers safe on the job during this time."

During the workshops, MSHA personnel, along with safety and health professionals from various mining companies, will focus on hazard assessments and safe work procedures regarding mobile equipment, safe maintenance and workplace examinations, among other related topics. The workshops also will spotlight safety hazards specific to the region of the country.

The timing of the workshop series coincides with the end of winter, when many intermittently-operated mines resume production, often with recent hires new to the mining environment. Statistics show that accidents at stone, sand and gravel operations tend to increase during April and May.

Schedule of Workshops (RSVP required):
February 21: Albany Airport Inn (Best Western Hotel), 200 Wolf Road, Albany, N.Y.
Contact: Scott McKenna, 518-623-2352

February 26: Best Western Executive Court Inn, 13500 S. Willow St., Manchester, N.H.
Contact: Robert Cole, 603-848-5954

February 28: Sheraton Reading Hotel, 1741 Papermill Road, Wyomissing, Pa.
Contact: Ron Witt, 610-222-3142

March 13: Celebration Hall, 2280 Commercial Drive, State College, Pa.
Contact: Sam Scribe, 814-590-0772

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