UMR will help lead a national effort to improve mine health and safety through a $4.02 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.
With this five-year federal grant, effective Sept. 1, UMR will lead the Western U.S. Mining Safety and Health Training and Translation Center. The center is a consortium of universities that includes the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo., Montana Tech in Butte, Mont., and the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, Utah.
"The primary goal of the center is to reduce the number of injuries to miners through an integrated program of training intervention and translational research," says Dr. R. Larry Grayson, chair and professor of mining engineering at UMR who is the center’s director. Research results from the center will be used to create mine health and safety training products, he adds.
"Through training and translational efforts, the center will help address the developing gap in experience by capturing the expert knowledge and situation-based judgments of miners in some of the industry’s most persistently hazardous jobs," says Grayson.
The center’s goals include identifying the training needs of mining personnel; developing and conducting a training program for mine safety and health issues; providing qualified instructors and faculty across the West to train mining personnel in target areas; evaluating the effectiveness and impact of the training program; and publicizing and distributing project results in mining occupational health and safety.
The mining industry will then be able to use the center’s guidelines to assess the effectiveness of job safety training when hazardous situations occur, Grayson adds. Each year, the center will study the impact of its work on mine site and regional accident and injury experiences.