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DOL/MSHA News Release
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Contact: Rodney Brown
Phone: (703) 235-1452

Released Monday, April 1, 2002

Illinois Receives Grant for Mine Safety and Health Activities

ARLINGTON, Va. - The U. S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has awarded the State of Illinois a grant totaling $210,500 for training, education and other mine safety and health activities. Illinois has approximately 367 active mines and more than 8,000 miners.

The amount is part of an overall grant of nearly $7.8 million being made this year to 44 states and the Navajo Nation for the same purposes.

Mining operations in Illinois interested in participating in training sessions should contact: Art Rice at the Department of Natural Resources in Benton at (618) 439-9111.

"The states are critically important partners in working to improve health and safety in the mining industry," explained Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These grants will be used primarily for health and safety training."

States participating in the grant program provide a variety of instruction - from entry-level training for those who are starting in the mining industry to annual refresher classes and instructor courses for those who will be training other miners. Many of those courses meet the requirements under Federal training standards. Other training covers responding to medical emergencies at remote mining sites, noise abatement, mine rescue, water hazards rescue and certifications for various jobs ranging from electricians to hoisting engineers.

Lauriski said his two major goals during the next four years are to reduce mining fatalities by at least 15 percent a year and reduce the non-fatal days lost injury rate by 50 percent.

"Training miners in all aspects of health and safety will help achieve those goals," he said.

This is the 31st year that Congress has enabled MSHA to award these grants to states.