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MSHA News Release: [02/16/2006]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot
Phone Number: (202) 693-9406
Release Number: 06-281-NAT

MSHA Announces More Than $800,000 in Training Grants for Miners
10 Additional States to Receive Funding for Health and Safety Training

ARLINGTON, Va. - The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) today announced more than $800,000 in grants to provide mine safety and health training and education to miners in 10 states. Today's awards are part of more than $7.9 million in grants that MSHA began distributing in fiscal year 2006.

"The recent mining tragedies in West Virginia underscored the importance of safety training and education for America's miners," said MSHA Acting Administrator David Dye. "This grant money will enable thousands of miners to become even better prepared to deal with the conditions they encounter in their work."

The following grants, totaling $834,431, were announced today: Alaska, $42,974; Connecticut, $41,996; Connecticut (for Rhode Island), $8,927; Florida, $155,134; Mississippi, $57,948; Nevada, $220,704; New Jersey, $47, 527; Oklahoma, $97,646; Oregon, $98,945; South Carolina, $62,630.

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.

In January, MSHA announced more than $4 million in grants to 20 states, including more than $500,000 to West Virginia to fund training for mine rescue team members, safety certifications for miners and MSHA's Comprehensive Mine Safety Program.

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 the individual needs of its state's miners and provides the appropriate technical assistance.

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