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MSHA Initiative Focuses on Less-Experienced Miners

08/03/2017
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© iStock/dannyfroese

MSHA data show that less-experienced miners, both at a mine and at a specific occupation, suffer injuries at a higher rate than more experienced miners. Between October 2015 and March 2017, miners with 1 year or less of experience at a mine suffered 903 injuries, compared to 418 for those who had worked at a mine between 1 and 2 years. Miners with 1 year or less job experience suffered 603 injuries, compared to 409 for those with between 1 and 2 years' job experience.

To address this trend, the agency launched a training assistance Initiative to focus resources on the greatest fatality and injury risks. Staff from the agency’s division of Coal Mine Safety and Health and training specialists from Educational Field and Small Mine Services will visit coal mines to:

  • Review the approved training plan posted at the mine to ensure that all information is up to date, and the most recently approved plan is posted.
  • Talk to and observe work practices of miners with 1 year or less experience at the mine to evaluate the effectiveness of the mine operator’s new miner and experienced miner training program.
  • Talk to and observe work practices of miners with 1 year or less experience performing their current job to evaluate the effectiveness of the mine operator’s task training program.
  • Identify deficiencies and offer suggestions in training.
  • Work with mine operators to improve their training programs.

The initiative runs through Sept. 30, 2017.

 

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