Mo. Mine Safety Program Takes Added Safety Measures to Protect Miners

March 6, 2006

In the wake of the tragic mine accidents in West Virginia that killed 14 miners earlier this year, the Missouri Division of Labor Standards’ Mine Safety Program has begun conducting additional consultations to miners in an effort to increase safety awareness in Missouri mines.

“Even though Missouri does not have mining issues identical to West Virginia, we feel it’s imperative that we do everything in our power to ensure the safety of Missouri miners,” said Allen Dillingham, director of the Missouri Division of Labor Standards. “The intent of the additional consultations is to get miners to work safer and smarter.”

Mine safety inspectors plan to visit two mines per day for 10 days. Inspectors were to begin with the coal mines located in Bates County. Missouri only has two coal mines, both of which are surface mines.

Inspectors examine the mines and discuss accident prevention methods, hazard awareness and fire and evacuation procedures with mine owners and miners. If this new program is well received by mine owners and miners, additional consultations will be presented to other mines across the state. Forty mines were to be contacted over the first 10 days.

In addition to mine inspections, the Mine Safety Program’s instructors will provide more comprehensive training regarding safety issues such as risk and hazard awareness, ventilation and fire and evacuation procedures.

The Mine Safety Program provides no-cost training and consultation to mine owners and workers, as well as contractors. Consultation services include MSHA training plans, evacuations plans, ventilation plans, noise surveys, substance abuse, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, hazard awareness and elimination, and more.

The program’s mine safety instructors trained more than 5,700 miners in federal fiscal year 2005. Missouri has approximately 450 mines.

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