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The National Mine Health and Safety Academy is the seventh permanent Federal Academy, joining the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Maritime, Navy, and FBI Academies in serving our Nation. It is responsible for training the mine safety and health inspectors and technical support personnel of the Mine Safety and Health Administration. Mining professionals from across the United States and many foreign countries come to the Academy for health and safety training.

The Academy is located in Beckley, West Virginia, on an 80-acre site near the Raleigh County Airport. The Academy complex consists of nine buildings: The Residence Hall, Administration Building, Classroom Building, Mine Machinery Laboratory Building, Publication Distribution Center, Gymnasium, Maintenance and Equipment Building, Mine Emergency Operations Building, Mine Rescue Station and Mine Simulation Laboratory.

At this facility, students are exposed to a variety of different disciplines in nine different laboratories: roof control, ground control, mine emergency and mine rescue, ventilation, electrical, machinery, industrial hygiene, computer, and underground mine simulation.

The publication Courses for MSHA and the Mining Industry describes available health and safety training courses, scheduled conferences, and other programs offered at the Academy. The Academy also produces and distributes health and safety training materials in a variety of formats. The Catalog of Training Products for the Mining Industry is an informative listing of MSHA-produced mine health and safety training materials. To obtain a copy of either catalog, or for more information on the Academy materials, please contact the:

National Mine Health and Safety Academy
Department of Instructional Materials
1301 Airport Road
Beaver, West Virginia 25813-9426

(304) 256-3257
Fax: (304) 256-3368
You may also download a copy of either catalog from this web site. 

If you would like information about the contents of a particular course or seminar, contact the technical coordinator for that course or seminar at (304) 256-3100 or Cheryl Stevens at (304) 256-3236 or E-mail

To enroll in a course or seminar, contact the Student Services Branch at the address above or phone (304)256-3252 or fax (304)256-3251.


The mission of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy is to reduce accidents and improve health conditions in the mining industry through education and training. To fulfill this mission, the Academy conducts a variety of education and training programs in health and safety and related subjects for Federal mine inspectors and other government mining and industry personnel.


PURPOSE: The Academy designs, develops and conducts instructional programs to assist in government, industry, and labor efforts to reduce accidents and health hazards in the mineral industries.

ORGANIZATION: The Academy is supported by the Superintendent's Office with the aid of four major organizational units-- the Department of Instructional Services, Department of Instructional Materials, Facilities Support Services, and the Technical Information Center and Library.

The Department of Instructional Services is responsible for the training of coal and metal/nonmetal inspectors and selected government and industry personnel interested in mine health and safety. In addition, this department plans, develops, revises and evaluates publications for MSHA and the mining community, and is responsible for the administration of individualized study materials for the nonresident student.

The Department of Instructional Materials is responsible for the development of videotapes and other audiovisuals, desktop publishing and graphics services for the Academy and MSHA. In addition, the department is responsible for printing, distribution, and sale of MSHA education and training materials.

Facilities Support Services is responsible for administrative support to the academic programs, including maintenance of records, budget and procurement, physical plant maintenance, food, housing, security, facility scheduling, reservations, and student enrollment.

The Technical Information Center and Library has a collection of research and study materials, including periodicals, documents, books, archival material, maps, technical reports, and audiovisuals covering the areas of health and safety, mining engineering, interpersonal communications, management, and other subjects pertinent to the Academy's mission.


The Academy complex includes classrooms and laboratories accommodating 600 students, dormitory space for 320 people (double occupancy), a cafeteria, library, auditorium, and wellness facilities.

The campus complex consists of nine buildings, seven of which are adjoining, as described below.

The Classroom Building includes fourteen classrooms and ten laboratories. The Technical Information Center and Library is also located in the Classroom Building.

The Residence Hall is constructed on four levels and has 160 units.

The Administration Building houses administrative and faculty offices, the auditorium, a snack bar, a student store, and a cafeteria that can accommodate 400 students per hour.

The Mine Machinery Laboratory Building is equipped with a full power panel to operate all heavy mine equipment and various other electrical test panels to be used in student instruction.

The gymnasium is a modern, fully-equipped facility suitable for wellness and physical fitness training for students. Wellness facilities include:

  • racquetball court,
  • table games,
  • sauna,
  • whirlpools,
  • modern up-to-date conditioning room,
  • indoor swimming pool,
  • outdoor sports field and

  • tennis courts.

    The Maintenance and Equipment Building is used for maintenance of Academy equipment.

    The Publications Distribution Center houses the print shop, publications distribution center, and Academy supply facilities. The Department of Instructional Materials offices are located in this building.

    The Mine Simulation Laboratory is a two-story building. The lower level consists of a staging area, rooms and pillars, and a mine fan to simulate a coal mine. The upper level has tunnels to simulate metal/nonmetal mining. The laboratory is used to provide "hands-on" experience in mine rescue, recovery, fire fighting, and mine emergency operations management.

    The Mine Emergency Operations (MEO) Building and Mine Rescue Station is located next to the Mine Simulation Laboratory. The mine emergency command vehicles, office trailer, rescue capsule, ATV, emergency generators, and water pumps are housed in this building. Also, the mine rescue station for MSHA's Mine Emergency Unit (MEU) is located inside and contains a full complement of equipment for mine rescue/recovery.

    Reservation Policy at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy

    The Academy will hold a block of reserved dormitory rooms for an event, for up to fourteen (14) calendar days prior to the beginning date of the event. To confirm blocked dormitory rooms, the names of the persons attending the event must be provided to the Academy within fourteen calendar days of the event. Blocked rooms which are not confirmed within 14 calendar days of the event can be released.

    Your help is requested in making changes and cancellations as soon as possible, with the Academy Student Services Branch at (304) 256-3252.

    This policy allows us to more efficiently utilize the limited number of rooms available at the Academy.


    In a five-year period from 1906-1911, 13,228 miners were killed in U.S. coal mines. As a result, the Bureau of Mines was established by Congress on July 1, 1910, "to make diligent investigation of the methods of mining, especially in relation to the safety of miners and the appliances best adapted to prevent accidents."

    Over the years, Congress passed other legislation designed to promote health and safety in the mines, including the 1966 Federal Metal and Nonmetallic Mine Safety Act (P.L. 89-577) and the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969 (P.L. 91-173). The most recent regulatory legislation combined the coal and metal and nonmetal industries under one law--the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977. This act directed that "The National Mine Health and Safety Academy shall be...responsible for the training of mine safety and health inspectors, mining personnel, or other persons as the Secretaries of Labor and Interior shall designate. In performing this function, the Academy shall have the authority to enter into cooperative educational and training agreements with educational institutions, State governments, labor organizations, and mine operators and related industries." It is through the training provisions of this legislation that the National Mine Health and Safety Academy functions.

    In response to the mandates of the Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969, on September 7, 1971, the Academy began inspector training in temporary facilities in Beckley, West Virginia. On August 17, 1976, the permanent facility, situated on 80 acres of land donated by the Raleigh County Airport Authority, opened its doors with an official dedication.

    On July 25, 1979, Public Law 96-38 transferred the activities and functions of the National Mine Health and Safety Academy from the Department of the Interior to the Department of Labor.


    Progress has been made in recent years in the improvement of the health and safety conditions in U.S. mines. However, further improvements must be made before mining is removed from the list of high-risk industries. These improvements can only come about through the establishment of effective accident prevention and industrial hygiene programs.

    Education is a vital element in any accident prevention program, and the National Mine Health and Safety Academy has been established to assist in providing this education. Our objective is to develop, implement, and promote mine health and safety through education programs at the Academy in cooperation with educational institutions, state government, labor, and industry. Our goal is safer mines and healthier miners through education.