Therese Dunphy

January 2, 2011

In With the New

by Therese Dunphy

One of my favorite traditions at the start of each new year is taking time to reflect on the previous year and evaluate what went as planned and what didn’t. It’s a great time to consider whether the time spent on various tasks reflects my overall priorities and, if not, to figure out how to push the most important goals to the top of the to-do list.

We apply the same annual critique to the contents of the magazine you are currently reading. As part of that process, we conducted the Aggregates Manager 2010 Reader Profile Survey to help the editorial staff tweak content to better reflect reader needs throughout 2011. Thanks to all who responded to our questions. More than 250 of you took the time to share your thoughts and opinions.

We asked a variety of questions about what types of articles you most prefer to read and listened to your responses. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 indicating that respondents were extremely likely to read such articles, nearly 36 percent of respondents rated safety articles as a 10. With fast-paced regulatory developments and ever-changing enforcement guidelines (see Rock Law, page 14), it’s no surprise that this topic edged out perennial favorites such as articles on plant design or crushing and screening as the most important content for readers.

Based on that feedback, you’ll see a new department running in each issue, Safety Watch. Each installment of Safety Watch is based on one of the 13 metal/non-metal standards outlined by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) in its ‘Rules to Live By’ initiative. Those 13 standards were identified through MSHA’s analysis of the 589 mining fatalities (including coal) that occurred from 2000 to 2008, and are grouped into the following accident categories: falls from elevation, falls of roof and rib, operating mobile equipment, maintenance, lock and tag out, blocking against motion, and struck-by mobile equipment.

To understand the importance of these 13 standards, violations of the standards contributed to 126 of the 289 metal/non-metal fatalities that took place in the 2000-2008 time period. As such, these standards, along with those outlined by MSHA in its ‘Rules to Live by II: Preventing Catastrophic Accidents’ (see page 4), will be closely scrutinized during inspections.

Safety Watch details best practices in each accident category. To make it easy to use, the back page features a Spanish translation of the text. Each column is perforated and ready to be pulled out and put into the hands of miners.

As you evaluate 2010 and plan for 2011, I hope that Safety Watch will be part of your plans for a happy and safe new year!

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