OAIMA Addresses Ohio Safety Concerns

by Diana Barnum

Jim Duff with Duff Quarries, Huntsville, Ohio receives "Rocky Award" from Ron Tipton, President OAIMA 2003.

How many safety inspections should there be? In Ohio, after the federal government inspects quarry operations, the state inspects them again, often within the hour. Dollars that could be dedicated to safety training are instead funding redundant inspections. But hopefully not for much longer.
Members of the Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association (OAIMA) decided to take the lead. At their 2002 Annual Meeting in Columbus, OH, board members met to discuss a proactive approach to the problem
“We initiated the drafting of SB (Ohio Senate Bill) 83 to make changes and take advantage of new technologies in surface mining,” said Patrick A. Jacomet, executive director of OAIMA.
The Division of Mineral Resources Management (DMRM), a division of the Ohio Department of Natural Resource, agreed to insert OAIMA ‘s text into SB 83 that would reform the Mine Safety inspection program placing an emphasis on training instead of dual inspections.
“The ODNR has a great bunch of inspectors,” explained Jacomet. “But why come one hour after MSHA (Mine Safety & Health Administration) leaves? And why go through the same inspection twice? We’d rather have them come to our sites to train.”
The OAIMA represents about 100 mineral aggregate producers in Ohio. Most companies are family owned with less than 20 employees. So mine workers are “family.”

Discussion Panel participants Kevin Moore with Innovative Screen Technology Dick Stiles, Metso; Kirk Sawall, Durex Products; Louis Ondrias, Tema Isenmann; and Kevin McQuaide, Ohio Wire Cloth.

“The bottom line is that we want our people to be safe,” said Jacomet. He added that a lot of accidents are due to actions or inaction of employees and that their behavior needs changed, not their equipment. He said the key is, “A worker gets up in the morning, gets to work, comes home and watches television with his family. Inspecting the heck out of the equipment does not make it better. Most accidents happen because of behavior- no seatbelt on in the loader, no hard hats on. …If they (ODNR) want to influence safety, training will take us to the next level. Most of our industry is families.”
OAIMA members sought the help of Senator James E. Carnes and the DMRM (division of ODNR) over the past year to make changes. Another supporter, Dave D. Lauriski, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health testified before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Employment, Safety and Training on July 11, 2002. He was quoted in a letter from the OAIMA to the ODNR saying that incident rates have “flat-lined” and that it was time to put a healthier balance between “enforcement, education, training, technical support and compliance.”
The training provision of SB 83 were dropped from the bill, but efforts will continue.
2002 Program
The two-day Annual Meeting included a trade show, general training, workshop and panel discussion sessions, a live auction fund raiser, an awards ceremony, a luncheon address by Senator Larry A Mumper, Ohio Senate District 26, and a reception led by State Representative Keith Faber.
One of the highlights of the sessions was a panel discussion, “Problems, Solutions and Lessons learned in other State” with representatives from several different associations: John Henriksen from Illinois Association of Aggregate Producers; Bruce Mason from Indiana Mineral Aggregates Association; Michael Newman from Michigan Aggregate Association; Don Walker from Kentucky Crushed Stone Association; Larry Long from County Commissioners Association of Ohio; and Brian Barger from Brady, Coyle and Schmidt.
John Schuler of Martin Marietta Aggregates, Scott Wilson of Shelly Materials, Inc., Jeff Stoll, Hanson Aggregates Midwest, and Mike Carey, director of the Ohio Coal Association addressed “Public Relations Success Stories.”
For more information on mining safety concerns and future OAIMA activities, contact Ohio Aggregates and Industrial Minerals Association, 162 N. Hamilton Road, Gahanna, OH 43230. Call: (614) 428-7954 or (800) OH ROCKS; or fax inquiries to: (614) 428-7919. Visit them online at www.oaima.org.