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Impact Inspections

MSHA announced that federal inspectors issued 377 citations and orders during special impact inspections conducted at 15 coal and seven metal/nonmetal mine operations last month. The coal mines were issued 208 citations and seven orders while the metal/nonmetal mines were issued 148 citations and 14 orders.

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Compliance with Air Contaminants Rule Should Start Now

By James Sharpe

Like it or not, aggregate producers should begin preparing now for a new air contaminants enforcement program coming from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).

Concerned about harmful overexposures that could adversely affect the health of metal/non-metal miners, MSHA announced late last year that it would soon begin a push to enforce 56/57.5002. The standard requires operators to conduct dust, gas, mist and fume surveys as often as necessary to determine the adequacy of control measures. MSHA expects operators to pro-actively demonstrate compliance.

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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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$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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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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