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PCA and MSHA renew health and safety alliance

World Cement,

On 16 October 2012, The Portland Cement Association (PCA) and the US Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced that they had renewed their health and safety alliance. The alliance is designed to promote and foster ever better and safer working conditions in the cement industry.

Originally signed in 2008, the agreement allows for a synergy of PCA and MSHA expertise towards providing industry personnel with information, guidance and access to training resources that will help protect the health and safety of all cement-manufacturing employees. This latest evolution of the agreement will extend it to 2015.

CEO of the PCA, Brian McCarthy said, “The safety and health of the employees, neighbours and customers of cement manufacturers is the industry’s first consideration in the production and distribution of a quality product. This agreement allows us to proactively address worker safety and health issues through a variety of channels.”

The agreement calls for a team of representatives from both organisations to meet regularly in order to address working procedures. Planned activities include conducting annual summary analyses of incidence rates for US cement plants, developing mechanisms for the effective sharing of best practice, creating effective approaches to improving operator and contract safety and collaboration on emergency response, rescue and recovery techniques.

MSHA brings a wealth of mining industry safety and health experience to the table, and it will no doubt be of great benefit to the cement industry that MSHA will continue to devote time and focus to addressing cement-specific safety issues throughout the manufacturing process. For example, one initiative since the inauguration of the alliance in 2008 focussed on the prevention of injuries from coal-fired ignitions during the cement-making process.

The Assistant Secretary of MSHA, Joseph Main, said, "This is an excellent example of government and industry working together to improve safety for the employees of a large and important sector. " He went on to thank thanked PCA for its members' commitment to safety and health. 

Adapted from press release by Jack Davidson.

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