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How is the government helping to keep miners safe?


Mines are often dangerous places to work. With Pennsylvania miners being vulnerable to accidents in its dark cavernous mines, many safety regulations have been prescribed by the state to reduce accidents. State government authorities also ask the public to send in suggestions for increasing mine safety to ensure that mines are safe for workers and to prevent industrial accidents.

The Mine Safety and Health Administration has initiated a program to reduce the number of mine accidents. The initiative is an inter-departmental program involving the Applied Engineering Division as well as technical support to carry out the program. Every district has the authority to initiate incident reduction assistance. The Engineering Division, along with mine operators and district authorities, then formulate a plan to carry out the initiative in the given district.

Mine-related accidents have declined in the recent past, possibly due to a number of awareness programs created for such prevention. The number of mining accidents in recorded history has reduced from 44 to 18 with recorded fatalities also on a decline.

The U.S. Department of Mine Safety has requested all states to voluntarily take the initiative for execution of an annual safety program sponsored by the Engineering Division. The Division conducts a follow-up each quarter to check the progress of the initiative. Furthermore, the initiative also gathers data on the work ethos and culture of each mine and issues a report form that information. Many mines have benefited from the Division's assistance by reducing the average number of mining accidents by more than 60 percent.

Source: MSHA.gov, "MSHA's accident prevention program," Accessed on Oct. 24, 2014

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