Improving mine safety technology and training
Mine safety in the U.S. has dramatically improved overall since the Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, and fatalities, specifically, have dropped significantly over the past two decades. Recent tragedies have challenged that record of achievement, however, causing concern among all constituencies of the underground coal industry and reminding us that such an excellent record of improvement can be compromised quickly. The commission believes that strong measures need to be adopted now by all constituencies of the industry to move the safety performance level in the U.S. to a leadership position globally. The commission has outlined the details of a risk ssessment-based approach toward prevention, which should increase significantly the odds of survival for miners in emergency situations, and also provides a guideline for pursuing zero accidents from all sources. In the report details are also included in the areas of communications technology, emergency response and mine rescue procedures, training for preparedness, escape and protection strategies, along with 75 recommendations for achieving the overarching goals of zero fatalities and zero lost-time accidents.