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DOL/MSHA Regional News Release
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Hal Glassman
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Friday, March 1, 2002

VIRGINIA RECEIVES GRANT FOR MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ACTIVITIES

ARLINGTON, Va.-The U. S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has awarded the State of Virginia a grant totaling $254,600 for training, education and other mine safety and health activities. Virginia has approximately 375 active mines and 9,600 miners.

The amount is part of an overall grant of nearly $7.8 million being made this year to 44 states and the Navaho Nation for the same purposes.

Mining operations in Virginia interested in participating in training sessions should contact Carroll Green in the state's department of mines, minerals and energy in Big Stone Gap at (276) 523-8232.

"The states are critically important partners in working to improve health and safety in the mining industry," explained 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 electricians to hoisting engineers.

Lauriski reiterated two major goals during the next four years:

"Training miners in all aspects of health and safety will help achieve those goals," he said.

This is the 31st year that Congress has enabled MSHA to award these grants to states.