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Approval and Certification Center

MSHA’s Approval and Certification Center (A&CC) approves and certifies certain mining products for use in underground coal and gassy underground metal and nonmetal mines.  

Technical experts evaluate and test equipment, instruments, and materials for compliance with Federal regulations.  Products evaluated and tested range from extremely small electronic devices to very large mining systems. Following successful completion of evaluation and testing of a product, an approval is issued authorizing a manufacturer to produce and distribute products for use in mines.  The MSHA approval issued by the Center is internationally recognized.  

The Center also performs other technical functions in support of MSHA's programs where engineering, scientific, and technical expertise is provided to other Agency project areas.  This work involves conducting surface and underground field investigations to maintain the health and safety of miners; participating in accident investigations; investigating safety and health issues related to mining equipment; providing technical expertise in litigation cases; identifying technical solutions to problems concerning mining equipment, materials, and explosives; assisting in the development of new or revised Federal standards and regulations; and providing research assistance to other government agencies on research programs that directly relate to MSHA.  The Center also provides engineering support and technical assistance in the area of industrial safety.

Contact Information

765 Technology Drive
Triadelphia, WV 26059
(304) 547-0400

The Center is organized into five Divisions.

Center Operations Division

The Center Operations Division supports the Center's mission by providing program, management and administrative services necessary for the daily operation of the Center.  This responsibility includes management, maintenance, and enhancement of the facility buildings and grounds.  Other responsibilities of this Division are to direct the administrative, personnel and management program areas within the Center.  The Division is responsible for the electronic storage, processing, maintenance and control of all documentation associated with the statutory responsibilities of the Center.

Applied Engineering Division

The Applied Engineering Division manages the refuge alternative approval program and provides technical assistance concerning proximity detection systems and mine emergency communication and tracking technologies.  The Division participates in accident investigations to determine the cause of accidents, and conducts analyses and evaluations of accident and injury data to identify solutions that reduce the incidence of accidents and injuries. The Division also interfaces with a variety of entities to implement solutions to identified engineering and related issues, and develops presentations that demonstrate modified processes or controls to eliminate the exposure or condition that contributed to accidents. It also develops a variety of audio, video and text materials to educate and train workers in safety and health practices, and consults with the mining industry and other interested parties to promote mine safety and health training within the mining industry.

Electrical Safety Division

The Electrical Safety Division provides miners with a safe work environment by ensuring equipment is designed according to safety standards defined in Title 30 of the Code of Federal Regulations and related criteria.  To further protect and improve miner health and safety, the Division establishes applicable safety standards for new technologies and aids in the investigation of accidents.

Mechanical and Engineering Safety Division

The Mechanical and Engineering Safety Division approves mining equipment for compliance with approval standards.  The Division investigates accidents involving the mechanical aspects of mining equipment, explosives, and fire protection, and provides technical assistance to other MSHA personnel and mining industry stakeholders in the areas of mechanical safety, explosives, fire protection, and new technology.

Quality Assurance and Material Testing Division

The Quality Assurance and Material Testing Division maintains the integrity of MSHA Approvals by primarily conducting quality assurance (QA) audits of approved equipment.  The purpose of the QA audit is to assure that the approval-holding manufacturers continue to make their products as approved.  If non-conforming products are found, the Division will work with the manufacturer to resolve the problem.  Corrective actions can include engineering drawing changes, product retrofit or recall actions, QA program & manufacturing process reviews and changes, and approval revocation.  The Division works with MSHA Enforcement personnel to resolve field complaints regarding approved equipment. It also performs material testing including flame tests and approval of various materials used in the mining industry.

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