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In a move to support education and training to help identify, avoid and prevent unsafe working conditions in and around the nation’s mines, $400,000 in funding was awarded through the Brookwood-Sago grant program.

The Fiscal Year 2019 grants provided by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) focus on powered haulage safety (such as reducing vehicle-on-vehicle collisions, increasing seat belt use, and improving belt conveyor safety), emergency prevention and preparedness, examinations of working places at metal and nonmetal mines, or other programs to prevent unsafe conditions in and around mines.

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.

Established by the Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response (MINER) Act of 2006, the program promotes mine safety in honor of 25 miners who died in 2001 in Brookwood, Alabama, at the Jim Walter Resources #5 mine, and in 2006 in Buckhannon, West Virginia, at the Sago Mine.

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The grant recipients are as follows:
• Hutchinson Community College in Hutchinson, Kansas, received $50,000 to develop a powered haulage training module, including virtual reality simulation, that will focus on powered haulage-blind spot safety and workplace examinations.
• Penn State University in University Park, Pennsylvania, received $158,181 to plan, design and develop a three-module, web-based mobile equipment safety education and training program on the potential hazards associated with mobile equipment visibility; designing and maintaining berms; and performing proper, thorough pre-shift examinations per the equipment manufacturer’s specifications.
• The United Mine Workers of America Career Centers Inc. in Prosperity, Pennsylvania, received $50,000 to develop a video and companion training documents emphasizing mine rescue team exploration and recovery procedures.
• University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona, received $85,974 to develop modular training programs for workplace examinations, conveyor and mobile equipment interactions, and mine emergency preparedness, with a focus on small- and medium-sized metal and nonmetal mines. The training program will include an evidence-based, train-the-trainer and evaluations program.
• West Virginia University Research Corporation in Morgantown, West Virginia, received $55,845 to provide emergency prevention and preparedness training to coal miners and operators in the areas of self-contained self-rescuer expectations and mine rescue.

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