MSHA awards $1M in mine safety grants in five states

October 8, 2015

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration awarded on Sept. 29 $1 million through its Brookwood-Sago grants program to seven organizations that provide education and training within the mining industry. The funding will develop and implement training and related materials for mine emergency preparedness, and help prevent accidents in underground mines.

The list of recipients and the amount of funding they will receive are as follows:

The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO, is receiving $224,006 to provide quality training to mine rescue teams. The training will focus on the development of advanced mine rescue skills using multiple training modalities. This includes pre-shift and on-shift mine examiner training in support of small mine rescue teams in Colorado.

The Colorado Department of Natural Resources in Denver, CO, is receiving $126,811 to provide training programs and materials for mine emergency prevention, mine emergency risk-readiness assessment, and mine emergency preparedness for underground miners.

The University of Alaska in Fairbanks, AK, is receiving $134,069 to provide mine rescue support and training through the combined use of unmanned ground vehicles and aircraft systems.

The University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ, is receiving $167,599 to develop a training program for underground miners on emergency self-escape via core competencies, experiential learning and virtual reality exercises.

The Pennsylvania State University in University Park, PA, is receiving $156,513 to develop materials and a computer-based, instructor-led, e-learning program for mine emergency preparedness for mine rescue instructors and new team members.

The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy in Big Stone Gap, VA, is receiving $50,000 to provide mine emergency preparedness training to miners for mine emergency firefighting.

The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers Inc., in Prosperity, PA, is receiving $141,002 to develop an interactive computer program to train and prepare miners on mine emergency preparedness, specifically escape procedures from outby (toward the mine entrance) areas of underground coal mines.

Training grants are awarded for a 12-month performance period, and applicants must be states or nonprofit entities. Established by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the program is named in remembrance of 13 men who died in two explosions at the Jim Walter Resources Inc.’s No. 5 Mine in Brookwood, AL, in 2001, and 12 men who died in an explosion at Wolf Run Mining Company’s Sago Mine in Tallmansville, West Virginia in 2006.


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