Mine and Quarry Safety

Stay Out – Stay Alive is a national public awareness campaign aimed at warning children and adults about the dangers of exploring and playing on active and abandoned mine sites. Each year, dozens of people are injured or killed in recreational accidents at abandoned quarries, mines, and pits while exploring on mine property.

The men and women employed in our nation’s mines and quarries are trained to work in a safe manner. Explorers do not have the same skills as the mine workers and are susceptible to dangerous situations. For trespassers, hazards are not always apparent:

The surface around abandoned mine openings, caves, and open pits can collapse without warning. Overhanging ledges or rims of pits and caverns may fall with the slightest increase in pressure. The danger is not only to those who walk too close to the edge but also to anyone who happens to be below.

Pits and water-filled quarries can conceal old machinery and rock ledges; water can be deeper and colder than people believe; and slippery, steep quarry walls can make exiting the water difficult. In addition, loose material can collapse, and vertical shafts can be deep, unprotected and not readily visible.

Lethal concentrations of deadly gases (methane, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulfide) can accumulate in underground passages.

Most importantly, it may take rescue crews longer to arrive and perform rescue operations in these situations. Accidents and injuries can turn fatal fast!

Please visit the “Stay Out – Stay Alive” website at https://www.msha.gov/sosa. This web page provides information and materials on the dangers of entering abandoned mine properties. MSHA keeps a running list of the known fatal accidents because this information, when widely shared, provides a deterrent to all people who may naively believe that they are invincible.

This information has been provided by the United States Department of Labor Mine Safety and Health Administration