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WV receives more than $500K in mine health and safety training grants

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The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration has allocated $8,348,423 in health and safety training grants for 46 states in fiscal year 2014, the department announced Aug. 21.

The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training received $563,256 of the funds — the second-highest amount that was granted, behind only the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet, which received $627,659.

Grantees will use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal, metal and nonmetal mines, including miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand and gravel mining operations. Each recipient tailors the program to the needs of its mines and miners – including mining conditions and hazards miners may encounter – and also provides technical assistance.

"These state grants support the safety and health mission contained in the Mine Act," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These federal funds will enable miners to better prepare for the task at hand and arm them with the proper knowledge to avoid accidents and injuries."

Grants were awarded based on applications from states, and they are administered by state mine inspectors' offices, state departments of labor, and state-supported colleges and universities.