W. Va. Hosts International Mining Health and Safety Symposium

Representatives of the coal industry, labor, government, academia as well as technology innovators and equipment manufacturers are expected to attend the second annual International Mining Health and Safety Symposium in West Virginia.

Taking place today and tomorrow at Wheeling Jesuit University, the two-day event brings together mining industry leaders and safety experts from around the world to discuss mine safety and explore the latest innovations.

“In the months since the Sago disaster, much has changed and much more is in progress; we are not yet where we should be, where each and every underground mine has improved communications, improved self-contained self-rescuers, and access to safety chambers, but we are moving in the correct direction,” said J. Davitt McAteer, vice president for sponsored programs at Wheeling Jesuit University and special mine-safety advisor to Gov. Joe Manchin. “The symposium provides a great forum where experts from all sides can discuss ideas and see great new technologies that can hopefully make a significant impact on the safety and health of miners.”

Manchin is scheduled to deliver remarks during the symposium at 1:30 today. This event is an important component of the governor’s overall strategy for continued mine-safety improvements.

“We must continue to pursue the technological innovations and improvements that every West Virginia miner deserves,” Manchin said. “We can do no less – for the protection of miners and for the peace of mind of their families”

Hosted by the National Technology Transfer Center at Wheeling Jesuit University, the symposium will feature panel discussions and a technology exhibit, centering on five areas: underground mine communication technologies, breathing devices, mine seals, mine refuge chambers, and rescue worker procedures and training.

The symposium presentations will be Webcast live starting with the welcome and opening remarks 8:30 a.m. April 26, and concluding with closing remarks noon April 27. The webcast can be viewed on http://media.cet.edu/live.asx or accessed through Wheeling Jesuit’s symposium Web site at http://www.nttc.edu/minesafety/.

Source: Office of the Governor of West Virginia