U.S. Department of Labor Announces $1 Million in Mine Safety Grants

The U.S. Department of Labor announced $1 million in grants to nine organizations in seven states to support education and training initiatives that will help identify and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines.

Administered by the department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grant program will allow recipients to create training materials, promote and conduct mine safety training or educational programs, and evaluate the effectiveness of their efforts. 

In awarding the grants, MSHA gave special emphasis to education and training programs that target miners at smaller mines and underserved populations in the industry. Training and education supported by the grants align with key MSHA priorities, ranging from better protecting miners from exposure to silica dust to mine rescues. 

“The Mine Safety and Health Administration works collaboratively with industry, labor, academia and other stakeholders to protect the health and safety of all miners. Education and training is a vital tool in achieving this objective,” said Assistant Secretary for Mine Safety and Health Chris Williamson. 

“In examining the mining industry’s troubling trend of fatalities this year, MSHA has found that training deficiencies continue to be a root cause of fatal accidents,” Williamson added. “The grants awarded today further key priorities of the agency and the Biden-Harris administration, including preventing fatalities and serious accidents from safety issues, while also addressing miner health, such as preventing exposure to toxic materials like silica dust.”

Established under the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the grant program honors 25 miners who perished in mine disasters in 2001 at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine in Brookwood, Alabama, and in 2006 at the Sago Mine in Buckhannon, West Virginia.

“These grants recognize the sacrifice of 25 miners who died needlessly in two of the nation’s worst mine disasters in the last 25 years,” Williamson said. “The recipients of our 2023 Brookwood-Sago Mine Safety grants share our determination to keep miners safe and healthy at mines across the nation.”  

The recipients of the 2023 Brookwood-Sago grants are as follows:

University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Ala.

University of Arizona
Tucson, Ariz.

Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College
Cumberland, Ky.

University of Kentucky Research Foundation
Lexington, Ky.

Nevada System of Higher Education
Reno, Nev.

UMWA Career Centers Inc
Prosperity, Pa.

Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals, and Energy
Charlottesville, Va.

Marshall University Research Corp.
Huntington, W.Va.

West Virginia University Research Corp.
Morgantown, W.Va.

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