Three Deaths Occurred on a Single Day

August 20, 2015, Augusta, Maine-Fifteen deaths have occurred in Metal/Nonmetal mines, which include sand and gravel pits, across the nation this year. While none of the deaths occurred in Maine, the increase is a serious concern for the federal regulatory agency Mine Safety Health Administration and industry leaders. The news prompted Maine Aggregate Association and Associated General Contractors of Maine to act this week.

Both trade associations set up an in-person meeting with the Mine Safety Health Administration’s Manchester NH Field Office Supervisor Robert Dow and Acting Northeast District Manager, Kevin Abel. The meeting held at the Associated General Contractors training facility in Augusta was broadcast over the internet and available to contractors throughout New England. The outreach program included a review of fatalities and current concerns by the MSHA. Recent incidents and prevention methods was presented by Chip Laite who is the Chair of AGC Maine’s Site Work Committee and President of Maine Aggregate Association, State Council of the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association, “Maine’s construction community has a long history of being proactive, and our goal is to make sure everyone goes home safely at the end of the day. The outreach by MSHA is much welcomed and will assist operators in keeping employees safe” Laite commented.

AGC Maine will have the meeting available online early next week for those who could not attend. “Fifteen is not just a number to our industry; they are the hard working people who produced the materials used to build our schools, roads, and bridges. It’s unfortunate, and we must work harder to prevent any more deaths this year,” Matthew Marks, CEO of AGC Maine stated.

In Maine, there were seven injuries reported in 2014 included in the 488 total around the country in sand and gravel operations. “When I heard that we had five fatal accidents in the last thirty days in the United States and three happened in one day with separate incidents it was clear we needed to increase safety awareness. While the nation is seeing growth in operations as the economy picks up the last thing anyone wants is for good news to result in tragedy,” Laite stressed to attendees.

Founded in 1994 Maine Aggregate Association is a State Council of the Joseph A Holmes Safety Association.  For more information visit

Chartered in 1951, the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Maine is the state’s largest construction industry trade association. The Association maintains an office in Augusta and has 180 members statewide. Member companies include general contractors, sub-contractors, and service and supply providers. For more information visit