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DOL News Release - 05-1983-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676


Released Wednesday, November 9, 2005

New Mine Emergency Operations Database Now Available Online

ARLINGTON, Va.-The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced that a new mine emergency operations database listing mine rescue teams nationwide and mine emergency services and related contacts at the federal, state and local levels is available on the Web. The project results from an alliance between MSHA, the National Mining Association (NMA) and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association (BCOA).

"Emergency planning is critical for all mining operations if an emergency were to occur and lives were at stake. This database should prove to be a valuable resource for safety personnel and the public in preparing for mine emergency responses," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "This database ties into 12 million businesses nationwide-both mining businesses and vendors that supply goods to the industry. It also fulfills an e-government initiative to help make government more accessible to people."

Located at https://lakegovprod3.msha.gov/MEO/Default.aspx, the Mine Emergency Operations (MEO) database can be searched by service provider and specific category, including vendors, suppliers, mine emergency operations team members, state agencies and emergency contact personnel. The public can also search by location or a specific description of the desired equipment or service. Vendor information appears on-screen based on the radius distance from the ZIP code of the mine emergency. For instance, if someone wanted to find a 24-inch drill, the system would list companies that might be located within 10, 50, or 100 miles from the site of the emergency.

Companies listed in the MEO database are part of the North American Industry Classification System, which has codes to provide a broad grouping of similar industries. Data will be updated quarterly.

To develop the database, MSHA worked with NMA and BCOA representatives, starting with conceptualization in early 2005 and testing during the development phase in July 2005. The groups noted what features they wanted for the Web site. Then, MSHA officials developed solutions and produced a final design for the database.

The database is an outgrowth of the 2002 Quecreek experience, when nine miners were trapped in a southwestern Pennsylvania coal mine after the miners accidentally broke through a wall into an abandoned, flooded mine. Rescue workers at the site broke drills while drilling rescue holes. The hurried searches for a vendor stocking replacement drills and a helicopter to get the drills there immediately were impeded by lack of ready access to emergency sources.

MSHA's primary mission as a federal agency is to ensure worker safety and health in the nation's mines. For more information about MSHA, visit www.msha.gov.