June 8, 2012
The Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR), and the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) have joined forces to promote summer water safety through the Stay-Out and Stay-Alive program.
Now in its 14th year, the Stay-Out and Stay-Alive Program warns outdoor enthusiasts, ATV participants, and especially young people of the dangers of playing and swimming on mine property. Since 1999, nearly 300 people have lost their lives in recreational accidents at mine properties; nearly half of the victims were between 15 and 25 years old.
“With kids across the country on summer break, the temptation to swim in an abandoned quarry can be hard to overcome,” said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.
According to Patrick Jacomet, executive director of the OAIMA, “aggregate mines are important to all Ohioans because construction, home, school, and road building materials are mined locally. However, the most common recreational accident on mine property, which includes active and reclaimed quarries and sand and gravel operations, is drowning.”
The OAIMA urges all Ohioans to observe and comply with “No Trespassing” signs and other warnings and advises parents to warn young people of the dangers of swimming in any unguarded body of water.