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DOL Press Release - 05-1834-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Tuesday, September 27, 2005

MSHA Sponsors National Electrical Troubleshooting Contest

ARLINGTON, Va - The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today encouraged qualified or certified mine electricians working in the coal sector to participate in the agency's first National Electrical Troubleshooting Contest. The contest will start at 7:30 a.m., Oct. 6 at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, 1301 Airport Rd., Beckley, W.Va.

"This contest will help enhance electrical safety in coal mining," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. 'safety begins with proactive steps, and this competition will help prepare people to safely handle these problems and reduce electrical fatalities in the mining industry."

As part of the contest, participants will take a written exam and safely solve a troubleshooting problem during a timed event. In this contest, two simulated power centers that typically appear in mines will be used as work stations to stage problems. Electricians will perform troubleshooting and testing on these power centers to solve the problems. Those participating in this free contest also will learn more about personal safety practices and learn safety tips from electricians, MSHA officials, and state mining agency representatives.

Up to 28 electricians, including mining company employees and contractors, will be able to participate in the nationwide competition. Applicants must prove they have valid qualifications and certification when registering.

The top three winners will receive trophies recognizing their accomplishment, and each participant will receive a certificate for participating in the contest.

The Academy has some lodging available, and contestants should specify their need for lodging when registering.

MSHA's primary mission as a federal agency is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's mines. More information about the contest and an online registration application is available at the "Upcoming Events' section at www.msha.gov. Applicants should send completed registration forms by fax to Marcus Smith at 202-693-9501 or by e-mail to smith.marcus@dol.gov.