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MSHA News Release No. 95-006
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: (703) 235-1452

January 24, 1995

MSHA HOLDS CONFERENCE ON MINE EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS

The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) will conduct an emergency preparedness conference for the nation's mining industry beginning Fri., Jan. 27, 1995, at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beckley, W. Va.

"There is a concern shared throughout the mining industry that we need to take a closer look at the current level of preparedness for mine emergencies," said J. Davitt McAteer, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health.

The conference begins at 8:00 a.m. on Friday with an address by both McAteer and Rhea Graham, director of the U.S. Interior Department's Bureau of Mines. The Bureau of Mines performs research on mine safety.

The purpose of the two-day conference is to identify ways to increase the level of emergency preparedness in underground metal, nonmetal, and coal mines in the United States. Representatives of mining companies, labor, mining associations, mine rescue groups, mine rescue team captains and trainers are among those invited to attend the conference.

The conference will also feature models of mine sites where major accidents have occurred. Displays will be used to demonstrate what caused those accidents and how to possibly avoid such future accidents.

Jesse Cole, who heads MSHA's mine emergency response, will coordinate the conference. Cole can be reached at the National Academy in Beckley at 304-256-3223 for further information.