MSHA Symposium Draws 420

By: Bill Reid
Managing Editor

    Some 420 attended the MSHA Symposium on Geotechnical Methods for Mine Mapping Verification. The one day seminar included vendor displays of the latest technologies, presentations by academia and state personnel and a discussion among industry experts.
    “By sharing information, I believe we can avoid the hazards associated with inaccurate mine maps and other potential hazards and prevent accidents such as the one that occurred recently at the Quecreek Mine in Somerset, Pennsylvania,” said Dave D. Lauriski, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health.
    Over the last three years, underground coal mines have been averaging in inundation every two weeks. Since 1983, there have been three fatalities due to inundations and since 1995 nearly 44% of the inundations have resulted from mining into old workings.
    MSHA hosted a similar type of symposium at the Mine Safety and Health Academy at Beckley two years ago and, following the Quecreek accident, decided to have this followup meeting. 
    “I’m ecstatic with what the turnout was today and the obvious interest,” John Correll, Deputy Assistant Secretary, MSHA told Coal Leader, “I was grantified to see the number of practices that are being duplicated from one company to the next and they are obviously becoming best practices.”
Coal Leader asked Correll, who recently joined MSHA, about his general views on mine safety and health. “I’m elated to be with the agency and the focus on mine safety and health is very sincere with terrific dedication within MSHA. We are forming alliances with various state agencies, labor organizations and other groups all focused on one goal and that is mine safety and health.”
    After presentations from four senior state representatives from WV, PA, VA and KY, Correll emphasized the cooperation between MSHA and the states. “We’ve always enjoyed an excellent relationship with all the state agencies and we have 44 different states that participate in the States’ Grants Program,” he said.
    “Today we focused on four states because the prevelance of inundations seemed to be in these four states. We have alliances with them and an understanding that is growing daily.”

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