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DOL News Release - 05-2379-NAT
U.S. Department of Labor
Contact: Suzy Bohnert    Dirk Fillpot
Phone: (202) 693-9420    (202) 693-4676

Released Tuesday, December 27, 2005

MSHA Announces $1.5 Million in Safety, Health Training Grants for Miners in Nine States and the Navajo Nation

ARLINGTON, Va.- The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced more than $1.5 million in grants to provide mine safety and health training and education to miners in nine states and the Navajo Nation. The grants announced today are part of more than $7.9 million in grants that MSHA will distribute in FY 2006.

"The Bush Administration is very focused on improving workplace safety," said Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao. "These $1.5 million in grants will equip miners around the country with the training to help ensure that every miner returns home safely at the end of every working day."

The following grants were announced today: Alabama, $182,669; Arkansas, $94,504; Illinois, $209,250; Indiana, $177,442; Maine, $50,202; Minnesota, $260,538; Missouri, $192,835, Navajo Nation, $25,534; New Mexico, $137,983; and Virginia, $253,990. These grants total $1,584,947.

Grantees use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines, including miners who engage in shell dredging or are employed at surface stone and sand and gravel mining operations.

With the grant money, some state recipients develop videos, DVDs and other training materials. Other states assist mine operators to produce training plans covering topics required under federal regulations.

Past training topics have included hazard recognition; accident prevention; occupational health; roof and ground control; ventilation; mine rescue; mine emergency operations; and certification for various jobs ranging from electricians to hoisting engineers.

Grants are administered by state mine inspectors' offices, state departments of labor or state-supported colleges and universities. States apply for the grants. Each recipient tailors the program to its state miners' individual needs and provides technical assistance. The Navajo Nation includes parts of northern Arizona, Utah and New Mexico.