Washington, D.C. – The federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) earlier today announced a new $287,287 grant to the Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office. The grant will fund skills and safety training for miners on reducing injuries, accidents and illnesses.
“The recent mine collapse in West Virginia reminds us that safety is a paramount and ever-present concern for the industry,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva of the grant. “This grant will ensure that miners have up-to-date awareness of safety procedures and technology. The people of Arizona’s mining community will agree that it’s money well spent.”
Grijalva sits on both the House Natural Resources Committee and the Education and Labor Committee, and has led calls for increased environmental and worker safety scrutiny of new and existing mining operations.
“There have already been 39 mining deaths this year, and we’re not even halfway through,” Grijalva said. “Mining in a country as technologically advanced as the United States should not present a daily threat to a person’s welfare. This kind of education, along with solid governmental safety oversight, is needed to make sure the miners of Arizona and the nation aren’t taking their lives into their hands every day they go to work.”
Beyond deaths due to accidents, Grijalva said, miners face increased risks of developing heart and lung conditions due to poor air quality, as well as hazardous noise levels and non-fatal injuries.
“This grant will hopefully increase awareness of how to make mining as safe and practicable as possible,” Grijalva said. “I thank the MSHA for making these funds available, and I urge the Arizona mining community to take full advantage of this opportunity.”