MSHA has launched the first “Stand Down to Save Lives” day which is today, May 17th.
In a recent interview, MSHA’s Assistant Secretary Chris Williamson spoke about this initiative.
“It’s about setting aside one day and one week a year where we spend a little bit extra time and a little bit extra focus on making sure that we’re adequately protecting miners safety and health. And we can identify potential hazards and work to eliminate them,” Williamson said.
The agency said there are already 18 fatalities in the mining industry in 2023.
They’ve begun impact inspections again, which stopped during the pandemic. “We’re seeing troubling things both on the health and the safety side. And unfortunately, some of the things that we’re uncovering in these impact inspections are some of the same issues that we’re seeing and the fatality investigations and reports,” according to Williamson.
Many accidents can be prevented with just a few minutes – or seconds – of precaution. The Stand Down to Save Lives is an opportunity for mine owners and operators to share safety measures that can prevent injuries and deaths. Host a toolbox talk, a discussion on common hazards, conduct workplace and equipment examinations, or provide longer training sessions.
Keep these best practices in mind as you Take Time, Save Lives:
OWNERS/OPERATORS: How can you improve safety and health programs, equipment, and hazard reporting to make them more effective?
SUPERVISORS: How can you improve training and examinations? Have you addressed any concerns raised prior to your shift?
MINERS: Do you have properly fitting protective equipment and are you fully trained on any you are operating?
Matrix encourages everyone in the mining industry to stay focused on safety. Make sure you and the people you work with get home safely after each shift!