Brookwood-Sago mine safety grants awarded

By |  October 10, 2022

Logo: MSHA

The Department of Labor awarded nearly $1 million in grants to support the development and delivery of education and training at 10 organizations, with the aim of helping to identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines.

Supported by the Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grant program, recipients will create training materials, promote and conduct mine safety training or educational programs, and evaluate their effectiveness.

The Mine Safety & Health Administration (MSHA) says the awards align with the department’s emphasis on targeting programs and materials for smaller mines and the miners working at them. MSHA seeks to educate miners and industry employers about new federal standards and high-risk activities or hazards.

“The Mine Safety and Health Administration exists to protect the safety and health of the nation’s miners,” says Chris Williamson, assistant secretary at MSHA. “The tragedies at the Brookwood and Sago mines are stark reminders of the risks miners face on the job. The grants we’re awarding today will support critically important training and education that the people working in our mines need and deserve.”

Grant recipients

The recipients of this year’s Brookwood-Sago grants include:

• The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, which received $158,962 to develop training materials for a three-hour, instructor-led course to raise workplace-hazards awareness among new, inexperienced surface mine operators.

• The Arizona Board of Regents at the University of Arizona in Tucson received $157,936 for comprehensive training, assessment and compliance-reporting tools tied to a project titled: “SMARTer Training: A Data-Driven, Collaborative Toolkit to Improve Training and Reporting Outcomes for Contractors and Small Mine Operators.”

• Hutchinson Community College in Kansas received $100,300 for hazard-recognition training materials to include virtual reality simulation and traditional materials to train Kansas and Nebraska miners.

• Southeast Community and Technical College in Kentucky received $82,438 to develop, market, deliver and evaluate Parts 46 and 48 coal and metal/nonmetal powered haulage and mobile equipment safety training.

• The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers in Pennsylvania received $55,046 to develop a bilingual miners’ statutory rights awareness training program to complement existing miners’ statutory rights training that may be used to either inform new miners or reinforce the understanding of experienced miners of their legal rights under U.S. laws and regulations, as well as the appropriate responses if they encounter unsafe or unhealthy working conditions.

• The South Dakota School of Mines & Technology received $120,000 to develop virtual reality training, interactive training materials and a new miner training program focused on the prevention of unsafe conditions in mines.

• Western Dakota Technical College, in Rapid City, South Dakota, received $109,945 for training focused on power haulage and mobile equipment safety, as well as mine emergency prevention and preparedness.

• The University of Texas at Arlington received $50,000 for training materials focused on identifying fall hazards and best practices in reducing miners’ workplace injuries and fatalities. The grant is also geared toward the development of miner fall-prevention training.

• The Virginia Department of Energy in Big Stone Gap received $50,000 to enhance virtual reality training, simulating conditions at mine sites to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions and avoid unsafe acts, in and around mines, with the potential to cause accidents in the workplace.

• West Virginia Research Corp. in Morgantown received $100,657 to provide emergency prevention and preparedness training to coal miners and coal mine operators in mine rescue training and dry chemical fire training.

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About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is editor-in-chief of Pit & Quarry. He can be reached at 216-706-3724 or

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