The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration announced an alliance with the Gypsum Association to foster safe and healthful aggregate operations nationwide. The top leaders from the two groups signed the agreement at the Gypsum Association's fall meeting in the Woodlands, Texas.

Under the agreement, MSHA and the Gypsum Association will work together to achieve the following technical assistance and education and training goals:

• Conduct evaluations of certain applied engineering topics to improve mine safety and health in gypsum mines and facilities

• Administer analyses to identify hazards affecting the health and safety of the alliance's miners

• Analyze historical data to evaluate the effectiveness of compliance and safety

• Perform mine safety and health case studies to determine areas for improved safety

• Use evaluations and case studies to set objectives and performance-based goals

• Develop training and education programs to reduce and prevent mine hazards

Both organizations will work to raise awareness about mine safety and health by expanding outreach efforts and communication through print and electronic media and industry conferences.