The Mine Safety and Health Administration is warning the mining community to be vigilant about hazards attributed to colder weather.

"We want to remind everyone in the mining industry to concentrate on their duties and avoid the kinds of hazards and dangers that can bring unwanted tragedy," said MSHA chief Dave D. Lauriski.

"Focus on Examinations," is a nationwide campaign currently underway to ensure thorough pre-shift mine examinations to prevent coal mine ignitions and explosions. MSHA is also alerting miners and operators in the metal and nonmetal industries about freezing and thawing actions that could cause hazardous conditions at their facilities.

During routine visits to mining operations, agency inspectors will remind workers about winter weather and the hazards it can bring to the workplace. In November 2003, MSHA inspectors conducted a second safety sweep of the nation's coal mines to point out potential hazards at work sites. In August, inspectors from MSHA's metal and nonmetal division carried out a similar effort at quarries, gold mines, silver mines and other mining operations nationwide.