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$60,000 Penalty Upheld Where Company Failed to Guard Return Roller

By Ellen Smith

Failing to have a proper guard for a return roller on a conveyor cost a quarry $60,000 in an MSHA fine, upheld on Jan. 28 by Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission Judge William Moran.

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Budget Battle Begins

Just in time for rabid discussion at ConExpo-Con/Agg 2011 comes President Obama's initial budget for transportation. On first glance, the numbers make your eyes pop. The Administration has outlined a six-year, $556 billion surface-transportation program that, according to an analysis by The National Stone Sand and Gravel Association, earmarks $336 billion to rebuild America’s highways and bridges, and comes with several sweeping changes in transportation policy.

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The Great Highway System of China

Forget about The Great Wall of China. That’s yesterday’s news.

While the do-nothings in Congress sit on their hands and let our national infrastructure fall apart, China is spending a small fortune on its highways and bridges. They are, in fact, creating, The Great Highway System of China.

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The Last Laugh

By Randy Logsdon

The intro sequence for the 1960s sitcom classic The Dick Van Dyke Show depicted Rob Petrie tripping his way into his living room to the amusement of his family, friends and coworkers. Slips, trips and falls have served to bring laughter from routines performed by the Three Stooges, Laurel and Hardy, Wile E. Coyote and many others. It’s a staple of the home video programs broadcast on television. If falling is so funny then working in the aggregates industry must be one of the most humorous occupations on the planet.

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MSHA Fatalities Rise in 2010

Mining fatalities in the United States significantly increased in 2010, following a year marked by the fewest deaths in mining history, according to MSHA. Seventy-one miners died on the job last year, compared to 34 in 2009.  Forty-eight of those deaths occurred in coal mines, and 23 occurred at metal and nonmetal operations.

Of the 71 mining fatalities reported, 23 of those victims were killed in surface mining accidents, while 48 miners died in underground mining accidents, 29 of whom were killed in the explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in April.  The leading cause of coal mining deaths was ignition or explosion, followed by powered haulage and roof falls.  The leading cause of metal/nonmetal mining deaths was powered haulage, followed by falling or sliding material, and machinery.

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