Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA Edwin G. Foulke Jr. and Mark G. Ellis, president of the Industrial Minerals Association-North America (IMA-NA), signed an alliance to help reduce and prevent exposure to rail and truck hazards common to industrial minerals facilities.

"This agreement will provide IMA-NA members and others in the industrial minerals industry with information, guidance and access to training resources to stay safe and healthy at work," said Foulke. "The alliance will particularly focus on the movement of rail cars and trucks between holding and loading and unloading sites, securing loads, and loading and unloading practices."

"The Industrial Minerals Association-North America is committed to improving safety in the industrial minerals industry," said Ellis. "This alliance provides an opportunity for IMA-NA and OSHA to pool resources to minimize employee exposure to the rail and truck hazards that are common in industrial plants. We hope that others beyond our industry also will benefit from our collaboration."

Through the alliance, IMA-NA will work with OSHA to deliver or arrange for the delivery of rail and truck safety courses to the industrial minerals industry. IMA-NA will also work with OSHA to develop information in the recognition and prevention of workplace hazards and to develop ways of communicating this to employers and employees in the industry.

Founded in 2002, IMA-NA is a trade association representing 42 producer member companies who mine minerals throughout North America including ball clay, bentonite, borates, calcium carbonate, feldspar, industrial sand, mica, talc, trona (soda ash) and other minerals. IMA-NA has 61 associate member companies that include equipment manufacturers, railroad and trucking companies, law firms and consulting professionals.