The MSHA Alliance is a coalition of chapter members involved in the surface sand and gravel, and quarry mine industries who are dedicated to the prevention of mine-related accidents and injuries. Specifically, it is the mission of the Alliance to promote mine safety and health by combining the unique and respective talents, efforts and resources of the membership; facilitating the exchange of information; and providing a unified voice for the industry.
Toward this end and in concert with the true spirit and intent of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, the Alliance advocates the following philosophy in regard to mine safety and health:
1. It is imperative that the effort to enhance mine safety and health is proactive rather than reactive. Thus, it must be of the highest priority to prevent accidents and injuries through the education and training of mine operators and workers rather than solely responding to emergencies and abating violations.
2. Workplace safety and health transcends mere compliance and cannot be achieved through blanket regulation and enforcement. Instead, a safe and healthy work environment is a manifestation of a personal and deep commitment to the health and well-being of every worker throughout all levels of the organization. In addition, it is essential that the necessary resources are available to evince this philosophy through the implementation of a comprehensive worksite-specific safety and health program.
3. An adversarial relationship between government and industry is counter to the achievement of mine safety and health. To significantly reduce, and ideally eliminate, mine-related accidents and injuries, there must be cooperation and shared objectives between the Mine Safety and Health Administration and the mine operators and workers.
4. Enforcement is not education. The former, due to its entrenched association with penalty and punishment, tends to foster feelings of ill-will, resentment and contempt. Conversely, education increases understanding, awareness and growth and creates intrinsic motivation to employ safe practices. Accordingly, a personal desire to perform work in a safe manner is the optimum objective of all safety training and education. Thus, a safe and healthy work environment cannot be achieved through compliance out of fear of punishment; rather, it is created by educated mine operators/workers choosing to work safely. While AMSHA acknowledges the need and justification for enforcement, enforcement in combination with education and positive reinforcement is the most effective of all strategies in changing behavior.
5. Economic realities dictate that both industry and government leverage resources to achieve the greatest possible gains in regard to mine safety and health. Accordingly, it is inherent to target those accident types and mine operators responsible for the majority of work fatalities and serious injuries within the industry.
The AGC Mine Safety and Health Alliance will advance its mission and philosophy through the following objectives:
1. Reduce the number of accidents and injuries within the sand and gravel/quarry mine industries.
2. Create and expand forums for AGC min operators/workers to exchange information and address significant issues.
3. Increase education and training opportunities for AGC mine operators/workers.
4. Enhance cooperation and communication between AMSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration by endorsing a partnership between the agency and the AGC to leverage resources, more effectively target unsafe work practices and accomplish shared objectives.
5. Inform and educate public policy decision-makers and support responsible, informed, beneficial legislation.