ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration today awarded $582,804 in grants through its Brookwood-Sago program to five organizations that provide education and training within the mining industry. The funding will be used to develop and implement training and related materials for mine emergency preparedness, as well as for the prevention of accidents in underground mines.
The recipients and the amount of funding they are receiving:
- The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers Inc., based in Washington, Pa., is receiving $179,289 in second-year funding to provide training in the conduct of Mine Rescue Skills Contests. Participating in well-designed mine rescue contests is vital for mine rescue personnel to maintain and improve mine emergency preparedness protocols. After completing classroom curriculum and training exercises, trainees will apply their knowledge in a variety of hands-on training scenarios in simulated coal mines.
- The Center for Strategic Management Public Leadership Institute Inc. in Severna Park, Md., is receiving $122,769 in new grant funding to improve the quality of mine emergency skills training in the mining industry. This will be accomplished by employing an innovative train-the-trainer approach that focuses on using technology to improve communication during mine emergencies.
- The Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., is receiving $117,747 in second-year funding to provide quality training to mine rescue teams. The training will focus on improving the technical, communications and decision-making skills of a team and individuals staffing the incident command center during mine emergencies.
- The Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety, whose main office is in Denver is receiving $112,999 in new grant funding to provide training in mine emergency prevention and preparedness with a program that uses real-life scenarios designed to help miners recognize and mitigate hazards and develop emergency response skills. This will be accomplished by developing a preshift/on-shift mine examiner training and auditing program. Additionally, small mine rescue teams in Colorado, which must respond to mine emergencies at hundreds of active and abandoned mines, will receive training and support from Colorado's DRMS with this funding.
- The Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy, which is headquartered in Richmond, Va., is receiving $50,000 in new grant funding to develop a training video on emergency preparedness deficiencies revealed by past mine disasters, with a focus on improving escape and decision-making skills during emergencies.
Training grants are awarded for a 12-month performance period, and applicants must be states or nonprofit entities. The grants program was established through a provision in the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006. The grants were named in remembrance of 13 men who died in two explosions at the Jim Walter Resources Inc. No. 5 Mine in Brookwood, Ala., in 2001 and 12 men who died in an explosion at the Sago Mine in Tallmansville, W.Va., in 2006.