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DOL/MSHA News Release No. 02-174
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Wednesday, March 27, 2002

Kentucky 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 Commonwealth of Kentucky a grant totaling more than $600,000 for training, education and other mine safety and health activities. Ky. has approximately 764 active mines and nearly 20,900 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.

"We are hopeful that the training provided by these funds will lead to safer mining workplaces throughout the state," "said Secretary of Labor, Elaine Chao. "Effective training is essential to enhancing miner safety and health."

Mining operations in Kentucky interested in participating in training sessions should contact: Phillip Johnson, Director of the Division of Miner Training, Education and Certification in Frankfort at (502) 573-0140.

States are important partners in working to improve health and safety in the U.S. mining industry," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These funds provide a key resource for effective health and safety training at the grass roots level of this industry."

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:

- reduce mining fatalities by at least 15 percent a year
- reduce the non-fatal days lost injury rate by 50 percent.

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