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DOL Press Release - 05-1925-PHI
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Wednesday, October 5, 2005

MSHA Hosts Coal Mine Safety and Health State Summit Today

BECKLEY, W.Va.-The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is hosting a Coal Mine Safety and Health State Summit today with representatives from state mining agencies to discuss problem solving, sharing resources and improving communication concerning specific coal mining health and safety issues.

"Meeting with mine safety and health officials from numerous states helps MSHA and the industry develop more effective solutions to mining safety problems," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We all want to ensure that every miner goes home safe and healthy at the end of every shift, every day."

Officials from 10 coal mining states, MSHA's coal district managers and representatives from MSHA's headquarters are participating in the one-day session at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy, 1301 Airport Rd., Beckley, W.Va., beginning at 8 a.m.

MSHA held its first Coal Mine Safety and Health State Summit in July 2004. This provided a useful forum for federal and state mine safety and health representatives to discuss common issues, exchange ideas and provide solutions for improving miners' health and safety. Several federal and state joint activities resulted from the 2004 summit, including the Substance Abuse Summit held in Hazard, Ky., in December 2004, work on surface haulage safety and training for new or inexperienced miners.

Discussion topics today include truck accidents and overloading; continuing efforts to address substance abuse in mining; retreat mining; joint electric plan submissions and approvals; mobile electrical training; coal-bed methane and adverse wells; and updates by state officials on miner certification and recertification.

Presentation materials from the event will be posted on the MSHA Web site at www.msha.gov. Compact discs featuring the presentations from the State Summit will be developed and made available for participants and others. To get a copy of the CD, send an e-mail to zzMSHA-asmsha@dol.gov, or phone the National Mine Health and Safety Academy at 304-256-3100.

MSHA's primary mission as a federal agency is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's