Last fall, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) awarded $400,000 in Brookwood-Sago grants to further mine safety education and training that can help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions.
Recipients included the University of Arizona ($100,000) to provide training to small mine operators and contractors involving powered haulage, electrical safety and belt conveyors; the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology ($100,000) to create virtual reality hazard awareness training involving belt conveyors end electrical equipment; and the United Mine Workers of America ($50,000) to create an instructional training video on mine safety for contractors and new and inexperienced miners.
Also, the Colorado Department of Natural Resources received $50,000 to improve training materials for new and inexperienced miners involving powered haulage and contractor safety; the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy ($50,000) to create virtual reality training to help identify unsafe and hazardous conditions in a mine; and West Virginia University Research ($50,000) to create training materials for mine emergency preparedness and prevention.
The grants for the 2020 fiscal year, MSHA said, focused on improving safety for powered haulage equipment through enhanced training and materials for training aimed at reducing vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, increasing seat belt use and improving belt conveyor safety.
“The grants also focus on improving training for new and inexperienced miners, mine emergency prevention and preparedness, and other programs to prevent unsafe conditions in mines,” the agency said. “Funding will enable grant 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.”
Brookwood-Sago grants were first established in 2006 under the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act. Applications for the 2021 grant program are being accepted through May 27 at www.grants.gov.