The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) plans to award grants totaling nearly $7.8 million this year to 44 states and the Navajo nation for miner training and education and other mine safety and health activities.
"The states are important partners in working to improve health and safety in the mining industry," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These grants will be used primarily for health and safety training."
States participating in the grant program provide a variety of instruction, from entry-level training for those who are starting in the mining industry to annual refresher classes and instructor courses for those who will be training other miners. Many of those courses meet the requirements under federal training standards. Other training covers responding to medical emergencies at remote mining sites, noise abatement, mine rescue, water hazards rescue and certifications for various jobs ranging from electrician to hoisting engineer.
Lauriski reiterated two major goals during the next four years:
- Reduce mining fatalities by at least 15 percent each year.
- Reduce the non-fatal days lost injury rate by 50 percent over four years.
"Training miners in all aspects of health and safety will help achieve those goals," Lauriski said.
Funds will be distributed during the coming months as each state's application is received and approved. This is the 31st year that Congress has enabled MSHA to award these grants to the states.
edited by Sandy Smith ([email protected])