2017 Safest Year Ever for Aggregates
According to MSHA’s preliminary estimate, aggregates operations attained a new record low injury rate in 2017. This year’s rate is estimated at 1.74 per 200,000 hours worked, marking the 17th consecutive year that the rate improved. This translates to less than two reportable injuries for a workforce of 100 miners over the course of a year.
According to the most current data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is safer to work in a quarry than a retail store. MSHA is expected to release the finalized figures in April.
The National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association also met this week with MSHA Administrator David Zatezalo, deputy secretaries and a senior advisor to discuss the aggregates industry’s demonstrated commitment to safety and compliance. Laura O’Neill-Kaumo, NSSGA senior vice president of government and regulatory affairs, and Joseph Casper, NSSGA vice president of safety, expressed a desire to help update outdated equipment standards and communicate best practices on seat belt use and fall protection. NSSGA reinforced the differences between coal and aggregates operations to the Administrator, who recently acknowledged that the agency has typically been viewed as a coal-centric organization. Zatezalo reiterated his desire for uniform enforcement across aggregates operations. He cautioned that it will take time to bring about these kinds of reforms and that he wants to hear any legitimate concerns from stakeholders, personally.