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Assistant Secretary Main leads group to view mine safety technology in action at the Pinnacle coal mine in WV

  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Assistant Secretary Main with the OMB visitors prior to going underground.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Vice President of Cliff’s North American Coal Operations, Mark Nelson, introduces MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main and Tim Watkins, District Manager, CMS&H District 12, to the day shift crew at the Pinnacle mine.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Mr. Main with Tim Watkins, District Manager, CMS&H District 12, addressing the day shift crew prior to the crew going underground.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM) unit being worn underground by MSHA inspector Ron Barber.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    (Left) The visible warning component of the Proximity Detection System (PDS). Note the yellow light on the bottom right of the continuous mining machine, which indicates that the continuous mining machine operator is in the danger zone. (Right) The orange device shown on the continuous miner operator’s chest is the miner wearable component of the PDS used on the continuous mining machine.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    MSHA inspector Rodney Lusk collects a rockdust sample for analysis by the Coal Dust Explosibility Meter (CDEM).
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Inspector Rodney Lusk places the collected sample into a sieve.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    The CDEM and associated equipment.
  • Mine Rescue Slide
    Assistant Secretary Main discusses refuge alternatives and recent Request for Information on improvements with OMB visitors.
Event Date: 
August 18, 2015

On August 18, 2015 Assistant Secretary Joe Main and District 12 Manager for Coal Mine Safety & Health Tim Watkins led a delegation of officials from the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in Washington, D.C., on a visit to the Pinnacle Mining Company LLC underground coal mine in Pineville, West Virginia. The visit was an opportunity to see some of the latest technologies to improve mine safety and health. The mine that began operating in 1969 is the home of the reigning national coal mine rescue champions and has the only longwall plow still operating in the US. The visit also provided an opportunity to meet miners at the morning shift change. Miners working at this mine are members of United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) local union 1713.

During the visit the group saw demonstrations of new technologies including:

  • a Continuous Personal Dust Monitor (CPDM),
  • a Coal Dust Explosibility Meter (CDEM),
  • the communications and tracking system,
  • a proximity detection system on a continuous mining machine and
  • refuge alternatives.