MSHA Encourages Miners to “Stop and Take a Breath” as Part of New Campaign

By Sally Murdoch

MSHA issues a call to safety to coal miners working in underground and surface mines around the U.S.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has issued a statement telling miners to “Stop and Take a Breath” before continuing on to their next task. The organization is taking a close look at mine safety as mine-related incidents remain steady since October of last year; however, MSHA officials are concerned with a trend indicating accidents have resulted in more serious injuries. More than 1,100 nonfatal accidents, and eight fatalities, occurred "in the nation’s coal mines, resulting in restricted duty, missed days at work, and permanent disabilities for the miners who worked there," an MSHA press release stated, citing 30 near-fatal accidents.

As part of the “Stop and Take a Breath” campaign, miners across the US will have a chance to strike up conversations with MSHA inspectors, who will be engaging coal miners and mine operators in “walk and talks” through September 30.

According to Joseph A. Main, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, “These walk and talks are intended to increase miners’ awareness of recent accidents, encourage the application of safety training and raise hazard recognition.”

Common Mining Accidents in the U.S.

MSHA states that of the 1,100 mine accidents reported in U.S. mines in the past year, the most common mining accidents this past year were injuries to the back, shoulders, knees and fingers. In the 30 near-fatal accidents, most were attributed to powered haulage, electrical, and machinery classifications. 1,124 total accidents were recorded in 21 states since October 2015, with the majority of non-fatal accidents occurring in West Virginia, with 419; Kentucky, with 191; and Pennsylvania, with 130. The states with mines having the lowest accidents were Tennessee and Louisiana with two, and Alaska with one.

Graphic Products’ Top Mining Violations of 2015

No stranger to mine safety, Graphic Products carries mining respiratory protection gear that helps protect workers from the harmful effects of coal dust, which causes “Black Lung Disease.” The company also prepared an exhaustive study this past spring in compiling the Top 10 MSHA Violations of 2015. Topping the list as the number one MSHA violation was the accumulation of combustible materials, such as coal dust, with 4,377 violations in the underground/coal category, down from 5,302 in 2014.

As well as premade and custom signs that create safety awareness in dangerous work environments, Graphic Products also offers the ability to print on site, on demand with DuraLabel Toro, a portable, network independent printer you can take along for almost any job.

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