The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced that Kansas City Chief’s running back Thomas Jones is the new spokesperson for the agency's mine safety campaign, Stay out-Stay Alive. This is a their news release:
The Stay Out-Stay Alive campaign began in 1999 to warn outdoor enthusiasts, especially children, about the dangers of playing around or in mining property. Sadly, every year dozens of people are injured or killed in recreational accidents at active and abandoned mine sites.
Jones grew up in the coalfields of southwestern Virginia. He has recorded a series of audio and video public service announcements describing the hidden dangers that exist in abandoned mines and quarries.
"Both my parents were coal miners, and they instilled in me a respect for the hazards they often encountered while working underground," said Jones. "If you haven't been properly trained as a miner, you have no business being anywhere near a quarry, gravel pit or mine."
"We are pleased that Thomas has dedicated his time to help MSHA spread this very important safety message, especially to young people," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Since professional athletes often serve as role models for our children, and he comes from a coal mining family, Thomas is the ideal spokesperson for this campaign."
Old surface mines are often popular spots for all-terrain vehicles and motorcycle riders. These sites often contain hills of loose materials or refuse heaps that can easily collapse and cause deadly rollovers. Surface mining landscapes are constantly changing, resulting in poor visibility of cliffs and steep ledges.
Underground mines can have hidden shafts, flooded or airless sections, or deadly gases. Tunnels are susceptible to cave-ins, and unused or misfired explosives can be set off by the slightest disturbance or touch.