Grants awarded for mine safety education, training

By |  October 1, 2021


The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) awarded 13 recipients with a total of $1 million in Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grants.

The program funding supports education and training to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around mines throughout the U.S.

The grant was established by the Mine Improvement & New Emergency Response Act of 2006, which honors the 25 miners who died in a 2001 mine accident at the Jim Walter Resources No. 5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, and during a 2006 accident at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

“We are seeing an increase in mining fatalities, particularly powered haulage fatalities, and we must reverse this trend,” says Jeannette Galanis, principal deputy assistant secretary at MSHA. “The Mine Safety & Health Administration’s top priority is the safety and well-being of people working in and around mines. Mine workers are a critical resource, and grants like these help support the mining community’s training and education needs and promote ways to better protect miners.”

MSHA says Brookwood-Sago grants enable recipients to develop training materials, provide mine safety training or educational programs, recruit mine operators and miners for the training, and conduct and evaluate the training. The grants are a critical part of MSHA’s emphasis on programs and materials for miners at small mines, including training miners and employees about new federal standards and high-risk activities or hazards that MSHA identifies.

The 13 grant recipients received between $50,000 and $140,000. The recipients are:

Arizona Board of Regents, University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona – $140,000 to develop app-based training materials to enhance training for belt conveyor safety, electrical hazards and accidents with powered haulage

Marshall University Research Corp. in Huntington, West Virginia – $130,000 to develop videos on powered haulage safety, fire safety emergency preparedness and personal protective equipment

South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota – $120,000 to provide virtual reality training material for Part 46 and Part 48 for miners

Colorado Department of Natural Resources in Denver – $95,000 to develop an innovative video that will focus the need for mitigation for mine emergencies, risk, preparedness and readiness assessments

Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado – $95,000 to develop an energy-based hazard recognition-training module

The University of Texas at Arlington – $70,000 and $50,000 to develop and implement virtual reality based training materials to prevent or reduce powered haulage accidents in small mines, and to develop disaster prevention and preparedness training materials for the mining community, respectively

Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy in Big Stone Gap, Virginia – $50,000 to provide virtual reality training to simulate real time conditions at mine sites

Indiana University trustees in Bloomington, Indiana – $50,000 to develop training materials aimed at preventing respiratory hazards, particularly those associated with mining operations and recent biohazards including the coronavirus

Local 49 IUOE Apprenticeship and Training Program in Hinckley, Minnesota – $50,000 to develop a training simulation device that will simulate training scenarios that involve fall protection, respiratory protection, working in confined spaces, electrical hazard awareness and powered haulage awareness

Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College in Cumberland, Kentucky – $50,000 to develop new training material for Part 46 and Part 48 for miners

United Mine Workers of America Career Centers in Prosperity, Pennsylvania – $50,000 to develop a two-segment multimedia instructional package on belt conveyor safety awareness and mine emergency escape interactive exercises

West Virginia Research Corp. in Morgantown, West Virginia – $50,000 to provide emergency prevention and preparedness training to coal miners and coal mine operators in the areas of self-contained, self-rescuer expectations and mine rescue

Jack Kopanski

About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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