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DOL News Release No. 01-478
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Wednesday, December 19, 2001

News Release

MSHA, Massey and W.Va. Develop Innovative Training
Curriculum Aimed at Enhanced Mine Safety

ARLINGTON, Va.--The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in a strategic partnership with the state of West Virginia and Massey Energy, has developed a new training course on mine safety designed specifically for Massey coal mine supervisors in West Virginia. Massey supervisors in Kentucky and Virginia also will participate.

"Compliance assistance is a crucial part of our strategy to reduce mine injuries and fatalities," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We're pleased that Massey recognizes the importance of well-trained supervisors to maintaining a safe and healthful mining operation, and we are pleased to form this cooperative arrangement."

Representatives of MSHA, the state of West Virginia and Massey Energy have been meeting over the past several months to develop a safety curriculum, create instructional materials and activities, and identify personnel for serving as instructors. The resulting curriculum includes topics such as general mining methods, MSHA and West Virginia mine safety regulations, hazard and task training, pre-shift and on-shift responsibilities, and Massey Energy's own structured safety program. MSHA expects nearly 800 supervisors, section foremen and mine managers will take part in the new training program at MSHA's National Mine Health and Safety Academy near Beckley, W.Va.

"One unique feature of the program is the hands-on training these supervisors will receive in the academy's mine simulation lab," said Lauriski. Participants will perform examinations inside the academy's simulated underground mine. These include longwall, retreat and development mining situations, as well as evaluation of bleeders.