FOR PRESS INQUIRIES, CONTACT: Amy Susan (573) 751-1518
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2010
Gov. Nixon Proclaims Mo’s First Mine and Cave Safety Week
Labor Dept. Judges Nation’s Longest-Running Underground Competition
Rolla, Mo— Miners from around the country traveled to Rolla, Mo., this week to compete in the nation’s longest - running underground mining competition. To correspond with the competition and to further raise awareness about the importance of maintaining a safe mining industry in Missouri, Governor Jay Nixon has declared the third week of September to be Missouri’s first Mine and Cave Safety Week.
“It is ever so important for the citizens of our state to recognize the significance of mine and cave safety and for miners to be up-to-date on the latest mine safety techniques,” says Gov. Nixon. “Mining plays a vital role in Missouri’s economy, and encouraging mine safety maximizes the benefits for all involved.”
The 28th-Annual Mine Rescue Contest is sponsored by the Missouri Mine Rescue Association and the Missouri University of Science and Technology. The Missouri Department of Labor’s Mine and Cave Safety Program along with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) constructed the safety course, created the written exam, and judged the competition. For the first time this year, the competition included scenarios where miners had to rescue live “victims” from the mine rather than dummies.
“This competition allows miners from several states to share best practices when it comes to safety as well as provides them the opportunity to prove their expertise and put their skills to the test so that they can be prepared in the event that a real life incident occurs. We are pleased to play a part in a program that helps save lives,” says Missouri Labor Department Director Larry Rebman.
Competitors had the chance to compete in an environment that mirrors where their skills would be put to the test in an actual mine rescue. A total of 13 teams competed this year, six of which were from Missouri. The remaining teams were from Colorado, Nevada, Illinois, New Mexico and Pennsylvania. The event in Rolla is one of several regional mine rescue events spread across the United States. A Missouri mining company’s team, Doe Run Maroon, was crowned the champion of the 2010 national event. This year, they took home the gold again for the Rolla contest for the fifth consecutive win, a first in the competition’s history. The WIPP team from New Mexico took home the second place trophy, Doe Run Gray from Missouri won the bronze trophy, Newmont Carlin from Nevada came in fourth, and the mine team from the Missouri University of Science and Technology finished in 5th.
Mining generates approximately $8 billion for Missouri’s economy annually. Missouri leads the nation in production of lime, and accounts for 3.5% of U.S. non-fuel mineral production. Other major products mined in Missouri are barite, cement, clay, copper, fire clay, iron, lead, sand and gravel, crushed stone, zinc and silver.
The Missouri Mine and Cave Safety program offers free training to Missouri miners and employers in the mining industry. Missouri is known as the mine and cave state as it has 318 mines and more than 6,000 caves. The program also inspects all 19 show caves in the state twice a year to ensure our state’s treasures are safe for family fun. For more information about the program or to view a list of Missouri’s show caves, visit /www.labor.mo.gov/DLS/WorkplaceSafety/minecave/.
Information and Planning · 421 East Dunklin
· P.O. Box 504 · Jefferson City, MO
573-751-7500 · 573-751-6552 (Fax)
Relay Missouri: 1-800-735-2966 (TDD) 1-800-735-2466 (Voice)