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DOL/MSHA News Release
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Suzy Bohnert
Phone: (202) 693-9420

Released Thursday, March 18, 2004

Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces $7.7 Million for Mine Safety Training

ARLINGTON, Va.--U.S. Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao today announced $7.7 million in grants to provide mine safety and health training and education to miners in 48 states and the Navajo nation.

"These grants totaling $7.7 million, provide safety and health training for more than 200,000 miners throughout America," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L Chao. "While mining fatalities are at record lows, this Administration is committed to continuing efforts to further reduce injuries in America's mines. These grants will enable the states to work toward our shared goal of insuring that every miner returns home safely at the end of every working shift," said Chao.

Grantees use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal and metal mines as well as miners who engage in shell dredging or are employed at surface stone-mining operations.

Some state recipients have developed videos, DVDs, and other training materials. Other states have assisted mine operators to produce training plans covering topics required under federal regulations.

Past training topics have included hazard recognition; accident prevention; occupational health; roof and ground control; ventilation; mine rescue; mine emergency operations; and certification for various jobs ranging from electricians to hoisting engineers.

Grants are administered by state mine inspectors' offices, state departments of labor, or state-supported colleges and universities. States apply for the grants. Each recipient tailors the program to its state miners' individual needs and provides technical assistance. The Navajo nation includes parts of northern Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.

The state grant program started in 1969 under the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act. The 1977 amendments to the act authorized the Mine Safety and Health Administration to spend up to $10 million annually to assist states in providing health and safety training to miners.

For more information on individual grant recipients, please see the attached sheet.