Mining group to teach workers safety
The Mine Safety and Health Administration is launching a new campaign to improve worker safety, called “Make the Right Decision.”
The campaign encourages miners to take responsibility for their own safety. Human error plays a role in the vast majority of accidents, said David Dye, deputy assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
“We’ve worked for a long time to take care of the obvious physical dangers,” Dye said. “Now, it comes down to the hardest thing of all to fix, and that’s the human side of safety.”
After 30 years of sharp declines in fatal mine accidents, the level is starting to plateau, a trend that disturbs regulators.
Mining remains among the nation’s most dangerous occupations, with 27 people killed this year. The list includes Cody R. Mathewson of Silverton, Idaho. The 52-year-old electrician died in April of injuries he received while working at the Stillwater platinum-palladium in Nye, Mont. Mathewson was caught in a set of air-lock doors. He had 30 years of mining experience.
Dye said the campaign will include safety talks at mines and promotional posters. Funding will come out of the department’s existing budget.
“We have a challenge to go from our current plateau,” he said. “Our goal is to send every miner home healthy and safe at the end of every shift.”
Mining has the second-highest rate of occupational deaths, according to 2003 data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. A job category that including farming, logging and fishing has the highest proportion of deaths – 31 deaths per 100,000 workers.
Hecla president takes over silver nonprofit
Phil Baker of Hecla Mining Co. has been elected to a two-year term as president of the Silver Institute, a nonprofit trade association headquartered in Washington, D.C.
Established in 1971, the Silver Institute’s membership includes mining and refining companies, manufacturers of silver products and wholesalers of silver investments.
Baker’s term started July 1. He is Hecla’s president and chief executive officer.
“The Silver Institute has done an excellent job of helping to unravel the mystery of what constitutes the silver market,” Baker said. “Their studies have given us a much better understanding of the supply and demand picture for silver, as well as the fantastic plethora of uses for silver.”
Part of the institute’s role is to encourage research for new uses for silver, making use of its antibacterial, water purification, and superconductive qualities.
Jim Sabala and Tom Angelos, both of Coeur d’Alene Mines Corp., were re-elected as the Silver Institute’s treasurer and vice-treasurer.
Delta raises fare cap, blames high fuel costs
Delta Air Lines Inc. blamed persistently high fuel costs Thursday as the nation’s third-biggest carrier raised the cap on its most expensive fares by $100, a move that was quickly matched by several rivals. Airline stocks rose on the news.
Atlanta-based Delta boosted the cap on one-way walk-up fares to $599, up from $499, for economy class and to $699 for first class. The move comes six months after the company announced a ticket price overhaul designed to draw in more business travelers.
The adjustment affects full-fare walk-up and some three-day advance purchases. United Airlines and Continental Airlines matched the move, and other rivals said they were studying it.