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MSHA News Release: [02/08/2006]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot
Phone Number: (202) 693-9406
Release Number: 06-245-NAT

MSHA to Co-Sponsor International Mine Safety Symposium
Conference Will Focus on New Technologies and Practices

WASHINGTON — The Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), along with the state of West Virginia and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), announced today it will co-sponsor an international Mining Health and Safety Symposium April 20-22 at Wheeling Jesuit University in Wheeling, W.Va.

"As MSHA moves forward with new emergency regulations to better protect miners' lives, we see this symposium as a critical opportunity to highlight life-saving technologies and best practices," said David G. Dye, acting assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "We must continue to do everything in our power to improve the health and safety of miners in this country."

The three-day symposium will focus on approval of mine equipment and how to accelerate adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, both from traditional sources and through technologies developed for other applications by federal agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Energy and National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The forum also will provide an opportunity for technology developers and equipment manufacturers to display and demonstrate their products. Representatives of MSHA, West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety & Training, West Virginia Coal Association, National Mining Association, United Mine Workers of America and other organizations will participate in reviewing technologies and discussing deployment strategies.

Wheeling Jesuit University will host the symposium under the auspices of its Robert C. Byrd National Technology Transfer Center. MSHA's Approval and Certification Center, which approves new equipment for mines, is located nearby in Triadelphia, W.Va. MSHA's Safety and Health Technology Center is in Bruceton, Pa.; and NIOSH conducts mining safety and health research in Morgantown, W.Va., and Bruceton.

Mine health, safety and rescue experts from Canada, Australia and other nations also will be invited to participate.

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