March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015...

March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015 Newsletter
March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015 Newsletter
March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015 Newsletter
March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015 Newsletter
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Transcript of March 2015 Newsletter - Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1 March 2015...

  • Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 1

    March 2015 Newsletter

    Guest Column by James Sharpe

    Time for Action to Stem M/NM Fatalities

    MSHA has launched its second initiative in eight

    months to try and stem the loss of life in the metal/

    non-metal (M/NM) sector.

    Thirty-seven (37) M/NM miners have died on the job

    since October 2013, according to the agency. Alarm-

    ingly, the disturbing trend has continued in 2015, as

    four miners perished in January, on average one every

    4½ days. Over the 16-month period, nearly half of the

    fatalities, 18, have been in the aggregate sector, eight

    in metal and 11 in non-metal, including four in ce-

    ment. In contrast, 23 coal miners died during the peri-


    In announcing the latest push, which kicked off Feb-

    ruary 2nd, MSHA said it would be deploying re-

    sources devoted to education, outreach and enforce-

    ment. The feds will concentrate on conditions and

    work categories giving rise to the fatalities. “MSHA’s

    efforts will focus attention and the enforcement tools

    available to us on the types of conditions that have

    James Sharpe , M. ED.,

    MS., CIH, has worked in

    occupational and environ-

    mental safety and health

    for the past 37 years, and

    publishes a newsletter

    called Sharpe's Point: On

    Mine Safety that specializ-

    es in health and safety news in mining, with a focus on

    MSHA. As a vice president of health and safety, Mr.

    Sharpe administered the National Stone, Sand & Grav-

    el Association’s acclaimed noise and dust monitoring

    workshop series, and helped produce the Part 46 train-

    ing rule, a collaborative effort among labor, industry

    and government. A former company commander with

    the 9th Infantry Division during the Vietnam War, he

    holds advanced degrees in education and environmen-

    tal health science and is certified in the comprehensive

    practice of industrial hygiene.

    caused these deaths, and on the specific categories of

    work where increased deaths have occurred,” MSHA

    chief Joe Main said last week.

    On the eve of MSHA’s 2014 initiative, which began

    last June, the agency said it would deploy enforce-

    ment, education, training and technical support.

    MSHA’s M/NM fatality focus last year clearly was

    unsuccessful. Time will tell if the latest one will ac-

    complish its goal. If it does not, it will add proof to

    the adage that the definition of mental illness is doing

    the same thing over and over and expecting a differ-

    ent result.

    Our purpose here is not to criticize the mine safety

    agency. On the contrary, MSHA is to be given credit

    for trying to do something about a problem that over

    the past 16 months has proven to be intractable. Like

    the Hawthorne effect, merely focusing the sector’s

    attention on the problem, as MSHA is doing, might

    improve safety performance.

    But as the prior failed initiative suggests, MSHA’s

    effort will likely not be enough. M/NM operators

    themselves must do more. MSHA’s analysis of the

    fatalities suggests what that might be. At the top of

    the list is task training, which the agency says con-

    tributed to 10 of 28 fatalities. (The agency’s analysis

    was limited to 28 deaths, since investigations of nine

    others have yet to be completed.)

    Task training; specifically, 46.7(a), is a Rules to Live

    By (RTLB) fatality prevention standard, which

    means it has been given priority in enforcement. M/

    NM operators can expect even more aggressive en-

    forcement of 46.7(a) and (b) in the days ahead. The

    second most cited RTLB standard was 56.9101,

    which deals with operating speeds and control of self

    -propelled mobile equipment.

    "It is clear that, at some of the operations involved,

    basic health and safety protections are not always in

    place," Main said last year. The same holds true to-

    day. From MSHA’s analysis of root causes of the 28

    fatalities, one can surmise what some of these are.

    (Continued on page 2)

  • Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 2

    March 2015 Newsletter

    Besides training, they involve failure to conduct ade-

    quate examinations for hazardous conditions, not de-

    energizing power and locking/tagging out equipment,

    neglecting pre-operational checks, not maintaining mo-

    bile equipment and failing to provide and/or wear wear-

    ing personal protective equipment. If M/NM operators

    want a place to start to re-inculcate safety into the be-

    havior of miners and supervisors alike, MSHA has help-

    fully given them a blueprint.

    The last 16 months have colored M/NM, particularly

    aggregates, with a dark stain. It’s time the sector unites

    to put an end to it.

    James Sharpe

    (Continued from page 1)

    The 33rd Annual South

    Central Joint Mine Health

    & Safety Conference will

    be held April 7-9 at the

    Gaylord Texan Hotel and

    Convention Center in

    Grapevine, TX (10 min

    from DFW Airport). Regis-

    tration is $275 including on-

    site. See for details including

    registration and reservations at the Gaylord at the low

    Conference rate of $144/night. Features unique work-

    shops, Discussion Groups, and open forums with

    MSHA senior management and technical support to

    answer all questions.

    New Mexico Mining Safety Board

    The next Mining Safety Board meeting will be held

    on May 15, 2015 @ 10 AM at:

    Workers’ Compensation Administration

    Albuquerque—Conference Room

    2410 Centre Ave SE

    Albuquerque NM 87125

    For more information, visit the Bureau of Mine

    Safety website at Do 1 Thing is a web-based, 12-month preparedness

    program that focuses on a different area of emergency

    preparedness each month.

  • Bureau of Mine Safety March 2015 Newsletter 3

    March 2015 Newsletter

    An exciting program is in the works for the 2015


    Our Tuesday, May 5th, lunch speaker

    is Dr. Eileen Ryan from the Magdale-

    na Ridge Observatory (MRO) . Dr.

    Ryan joined MRO in 2002.

    As director of the 2.4-meter Tele-

    scope, Dr. Ryan manages its tech-

    nical, financial, and operational activ-

    ities, and leads the development of

    scientific and military initiatives. She

    is the Principal Investigator of a

    NASA-funded Near-Earth Objects

    (NEOs) program and Co-Principal

    Investigator (with William Ryan) of an NSF-funded pro-

    gram to determine spin rates of NEOs. For more infor-

    mation on Dr. Ryan’s work, click here for the article in the local newspaper

    Dr. Ryan will speak about the activities at MRO and the

    relationship between NEO programs and mining. You

    might be surprised to learn that safety and precision are

    paramount at MRO much like they are in today’s high

    tech mining world!

    We continue our other planning for our 2015 NMMHSC.

    We plan on other exciting keynotes and informative

    breakout sessions.

    On Monday we’ve planned three pre-

    conference activities. Our annual golf

    tournament will take place on NMT’s

    championship course, we have a 4 hour

    first aid course available and Dr. Ted

    Boyce will conduct a special 4 hour ses-

    sion on “How Can YOU Make a Differ-


    Our theme for 2015 is “You Set The

    Standard.” Each of us in our work places

    must set the standard of safety that will

    determine our success in eliminating


    Your participation is welcome at the

    next planning meeting: 9 a.m. on Thursday, March5,

    2015, at the Bureau of Mine Safety Training Room at

    New Mexico Tech.

    For information and directions, visit the Bureau of Mine

    Safety website or call 575-835-5460.

    Click here to register


    2015 New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference

    May 4, 5 and 6 , at New Mexico Tech in Socorro

    Outstanding Contribution to Safety


    The New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference

    will again present the Outstanding Contribution to Safety

    (OCS) award. The purpose of the OCS award is to recog-

    nize those New Mexico miners who have demonstrated

    exceptional influence, initiative and leadership in the ap-

    plication of health and safety principles. We want to en-

    courage each and every New Mexico miner to redouble