Joseph Main

Joseph A. Main is assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

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Joseph Main's Latest Posts

Celebrating Mine Rescue Day

Filed in Mining by on October 30, 2014 0 Comments
Celebrating Mine Rescue Day

Today, October 30, we recognize the dedication and sacrifice of the volunteers who form the backbone of our national response in the event of a mining emergency.  These mine rescuers are a special breed and deserving of our gratitude. Mine rescue is among the most risky and challenging rescue work undertaken in this country. Many […]

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The Real Game Changer in Mine Safety

Filed in DOL, Mining by on October 2, 2014 0 Comments
The Real Game Changer in Mine Safety

Soon after taking the job as the Labor Department’s assistant secretary of the Mine Safety and Health Administration, I directed the implementation of sweeping reforms to the Pattern of Violations provisions contained in the 1977 Mine Act. So what does that exactly mean? This law authorized MSHA to issue Pattern of Violation notices to mine […]

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Mine Rescue Teams – A Special Breed

Filed in DOL, Mining by on August 14, 2014 0 Comments
Mine Rescue Teams – A Special Breed

The 2014 National Metal and Nonmetal Mine Rescue Contest, held Aug. 4-7 in Lexington, Kentucky, was by all accounts one of the most successful national contests ever for the metal and nonmetal industry. A record 41 teams from 18 states participated in these simulated emergency exercises, which enable teams to sharpen the skills they may […]

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A New Day for Miners’ Health

Filed in Mining, Safety, Workplace Rights by on July 31, 2014 1 Comment
A New Day for Miners’ Health

Aug. 1 marks the start of new and historic protections against black lung disease for U.S. underground and surface coal miners. American coal miners will be better protected from the disabling and life-shortening respiratory diseases known as “black lung” as a new rule goes into effect Aug. 1, representing the first major changes in this […]

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Another Step Toward Ending Black Lung

Filed in Safety by on June 13, 2014 0 Comments
Another Step Toward Ending Black Lung

When I first set foot in a coal mine 47 years ago, I had no idea what changes would be in store for the industry.  Back then, it wasn’t unusual for the number of coal mining fatalities to exceed 100 in a single year. Over time, thanks to stronger enforcement, better cooperation with mine operators, education […]

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MSHA Takes Action to Reverse Fatality Trend

Filed in Mining by on May 9, 2014 0 Comments
MSHA Takes Action to Reverse Fatality Trend

As has been a practice over the last four years, the Mine Safety and Health Administration today released a summary of U.S. mining deaths that occurred during the first quarter of 2014. From Jan. 1 to March 31, 2014, eight miners died in accidents in the nation’s mining industry – three in coal and five […]

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More Work Needs to be Done for Our Nation’s Miners

Filed in Safety, Workforce Investment, Workplace Rights by on April 28, 2014 3 Comments
More Work Needs to be Done for Our Nation’s Miners

On this Workers’ Memorial Day, we pause to remember those who have lost their lives at workplaces in our country, and pledge to make improvements so that workers have a safe and healthy place to work. As we reflect on our efforts to protect the nation’s miners, we find a story of many accomplishments, but […]

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Fulfilling the Nation’s Promise to Coal Miners

Fulfilling the Nation’s Promise to Coal Miners

A dear friend of mine, Mike South, became a miner for the reasons many of us did – to gain a foothold into the middle class, and to provide for his family.  Mining is a good job – an honorable occupation. It is a fundamental piece of the American economy that still produces a large […]

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Mining’s Changing Culture — 4 years after UBB

Filed in Mining, Safety by on April 3, 2014 0 Comments
Mining’s Changing Culture — 4 years after UBB

We are about to mark the 4th anniversary of one of the most devastating coal mining accidents in decades. On April 5, 2010, 29 miners were killed and two were seriously injured in a massive explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in Raleigh County, W.Va. Not a day goes by that we are not […]

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Keeping Miners Safe

Filed in DOL, Mining, Safety, Workplace Rights by on March 7, 2014 0 Comments
Keeping Miners Safe

To prevent death, disease and injury from mining, and to promote safe and healthful workplaces for the nation’s miners – this is the mission of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. President Obama’s fiscal year 2015 budget places a high priority on enforcing health and safety standards at our nation’s mines. At the heart of […]

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