Tucson, Ariz.– The U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) has announced awards to eight states of more than $1.3 million to fund health and safety training programs. The Arizona State Mine Inspector’s Office has been awarded $287,287 for fiscal year 2011 as part of an effort to increase mine safety and health awareness around the state.
The awards come as a new report on West Virginia’s Upper Big Branch mine disaster of 2010, which killed 29 mine workers, finds fault both with company standards and lax regulatory oversight. According to a Washington Post article on the report:
The goal of the Arizona mine training program is to reduce injuries, accidents and illnesses through increased opportunities for miners to receive federally required Annual Refresher training. This includes mine-specific content and improved training that addresses specific hazards unique to the mining industry.
“Mine safety needs to be a priority, especially with the Upper Big Branch report painting such a stark picture of how human error can lead to disasters in the industry,” Grijalva said. “This money will go a long way toward ensuring the health and safety of our miners. These funds are doing a service to the entire state of Arizona, and I’m glad to see us get the money we need to maintain high labor standards.”