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Safety first, no matter your politics

By |  December 8, 2016

PQ1411HB_13-safety2RIt has been a month since the presidential election, and a lot has happened since. In just the past few weeks, President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Elaine Chao for secretary of transportation and Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, as well as tapping other conservatives for federal government positions that have an effect on aggregate producers directly or indirectly. We still wait to hear who will head up the Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA), but one industry source told me he expects a current or past mine owner/operator in that role.

No matter which side of the political spectrum you most associate, we can all get behind MSHA chief Joe Main’s comments earlier this week when he asked all Americans to honor the nation’s hard-working miners on National Miners Day.

“Many of us who work at the Mine Safety & Health Administration have a personal connection to mining through family, friends and our own experiences,” Main says. “We may have worked in the mines ourselves, as I did starting as an 18-year-old in the northern West Virginia coalfields in 1967.”

Whoever takes the reigns at MSHA ultimately has the same responsibility as Main: MSHA’s mission is clear – to make sure every worker who chooses the occupation of miner can go to work, put in their shift, and return home safe and healthy.

Of miners, Main adds, “They work in often dangerous conditions so that our lives may be more comfortable. They deserve our utmost respect, gratitude and, most of all, a safe and healthy workplace. Not just on Dec. 6 (National Miners Day), but every single day.”

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About the Author:

Darren Constantino is an editor of Pit & Quarry magazine. He can be reached at

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