MSHA Awards Up to $1m in Grants For Mine Safety Education, Training

ARLINGTON, VA. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), has announced the availability of up to $1 million in grants for education and training programs to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines.

The Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006 established the Brookwood-Sago grant program to promote mine safety in honor of 25 miners who died in Brookwood, Alabama, in 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine, and in Buckhannon, West Virginia, in 2006 at the Sago Mine.

Funding will enable grant recipients to develop education and training programs on safety and health for mine operators and miners, with special emphasis on programs that target workers at small mines.

Each grant recipient will receive at least $50,000 with a maximum individual award of $250,000. MSHA may incrementally fund these grants based on milestones and availability of funds.

The closing date for applications is March 24, 2017.

Meanwhile, MSHA has issued an alert on recent fatalities from working alone and in hazardous restricted areas.

On January 25, 2017, a miner was found in an underground limestone mine after failing to exit the mine at the end of his shift. The miner was found under material that had fallen on him from a rib in an area of the mine that had been barricaded to prevent entry due to bad roof and rib conditions.

The following day, a coal miner was discovered entangled at a conveyor belt drive, also after failing to exit the mine at the end of his shift. In both of these instances the victims were working alone and in restricted areas where there were hazardous conditions.