MSHA Increases FY 2009 State Health, Safety Training Grants

MSHA recently announced it has allocated more than $8.3 million in health and safety training grants for fiscal year 2009, up from last year's distribution of $8.2 million.

"Comprehensive education and training for miners is a sound investment," said Dr. Gregory R. Wagner, MSHA's deputy assistant secretary for policy. "These grants will enable participating states to work toward a goal that we all share--ensuring every miner returns home safely at the end of every working shift. At the Department of Labor, our mantra is 'good jobs for everyone.' A good job is a safe job."

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 and metal and nonmetal mines, including miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand, and gravel mining operations.

Training grant funds are being awarded to 47 states and the Navajo Nation. States applied for the grants, which are administered by state mine inspectors' offices, state departments of labor, and state-supported colleges and universities. Each recipient tailors the program to its miners' individual needs and provides technical assistance. The grants are given to states upon receipt and approval of their applications. Rhode Island and Connecticut received joint funding, as did Delaware and Pennsylvania.

The state grant program was authorized by the Coal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1969. States first received funding in 1971 to provide health and safety training to miners.

The following amounts were awarded: Alabama ,$196,415; Alaska, $50,302; Arizona, $282,846; Arkansas, $97,799; California, $333,384; Colorado, $207,153; Connecticut, $53,258; Florida, $168,858; Georgia, $189,860; Idaho, $91,146; Illinois, $216,548; Indiana, $188,669; Iowa, $113,767; Kansas, $81,783; Kentucky, $617,956; Louisiana, $80,381; Maine, $54,858; Maryland, $56,949; Massachusetts, $64,636; Michigan, $212,139; Minnesota, $269,624; Mississippi, $59,969; Missouri, $203,748; Montana, $135,335; Navajo Nation, $26,424; Nebraska, $65,593; Nevada, $231,521; New Hampshire, $40,054; New Jersey, $49,185; New Mexico, $145,027; New York, $254,882; North Carolina, $150,765; North Dakota, $57,639; Ohio, $258,797; Oklahoma, $106,133; Oregon, $104,094; Pennsylvania, $525,147; South Carolina, $64,814; South Dakota, $58,396; Tennessee, $137,702; Texas, $423,079; Utah, $169,366; Vermont, $69,393; Virginia, $264,692; Washington, $146,128; West Virginia, $554,548; Wisconsin, $189,277; and Wyoming, $190,466.

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