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MSHA releases online compliance tool

MSHA, along with the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association, announced the release of a comprehensive compilation of education and training tools for the aggregates industry. "Safety Pro in a Box" is an online repository of compliance assistance materials aimed at mine operators new to the industry, especially small mine operators.

"This resource was designed to provide meaningful assistance to new operators who may be unfamiliar with the safety and health requirements that apply to their operations," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Since small mine operators often don't have safety departments like those at larger operations, this information can provide them with the necessary training tools to ensure compliance with MSHA safety and health standards.

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Construction employment dips in December

Employment in construction declined by 16,000 during the month of December 2010 as the industry's unemployment rate hit 20.7 percent, according to analysis of federal employment figures released by the Associated General Contractors of America. Even as the industry continues to suffer from weak private sector demand the benefits of the temporary stimulus program appear to be winding down, association officials noted.

"At this point, it doesn't look like there's anything to replace the temporary help that the stimulus has been providing for the construction industry," said Ken Simonson, the association's chief economist. "These figures offer yet another reminder that the construction industry remains, and is likely to remain, the hardest-hit industry in the economy."

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POV Injunction Case Could impact all Mines

In an unprecedented legal case, the Labor Dept. and Massey Energy's Freedom Energy Mining Co. have reached a settlement where MSHA sought a court injunction on the "belief" of a pattern of violations. Solicitor of Labor Patricia Smith said the "Labor Dept. is very excited by this settlement," noting that most of the settlement provisions go "above and beyond the normal requirements contained in the Mine Act."

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Lafarge wins MSHA award

Lafarge North America recently was recognized by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) at its annual "Training Resources Applied to Mining" (TRAM) Conference held at the MSHA training academy in Beckley, WV.

Lafarge, not only received the first place prize in the Best CD's & DVD's Training for Industry award for their "Safety Glasses Save Lives - The Adam Oliver Story" video, but that same video captured the highest level of recognition by winning the Grand Prize for the best overall resource. The video described the story and the lessons learned from a real-life incident that happened to Adam Oliver, a Lafarge employee, at itsDavenport, Iowa, Cement Plant.

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Sandvik brings international customer event to North America

Sandvik gathered about 200 customers and dealers in Philadelphia in mid-October to demonstrate its North American mining and construction equipment. The one-day event, attended by Rock Products, was repeated over two days with live demonstrations held at Eureka Stone's Rush Valley quarry, for which J.D Morrissey Materials is the parent company.

This is the fourth such event for Sandvik with the first three in England, Malaysia and China beginning in June 2009. And the reason for holding it, as well as introducing new equipment to the North America market this far out from ConeExpo-Con/Agg 2011, company officials say, is to have customers' undivided attention. This, of course, is not something to overlook in this economy.

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