As required by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Part 48, Mon Valley Integration held it’s annual underground refresher training this past week at the Dolls run Training Center near Morgantown, WV. Per MSHA regulations, many aspects of safety and health were reviewed during classroom sessions: fatalities and preventative measures, mine mapping, transportation safety, ventilation, emergency evacuation and firefighting plans, first aid, electrical hazards, self-rescue and respiratory devices, explosives, mine gases, and health issues such as dust, noise, and control plans.
After the morning classroom session, the employees were split into two groups, with one being walked through hands on first aid training, while the other was lead into a simulation mine that is on-site at Dolls Run. The mining simulation takes students into and underground environment that has an air intake, air return, and belt-line, along with several cross cuts. Our employees took part in a simulated underground work day, where they traveled into the mine together before being split into three different groups to work at various areas. They were then subjected to smoke made from vegetable oil to simulate a mine fire. As if everyone were in an actual mine fire, they proceeded to don their self-contained self-rescuers (SCSR). They then had to work together to locate and SCSR cash in order to transfer from their smaller personal rescuers to a larger one meant to last them until they exited the mine safely. After completing this task, they proceeded to attempt an exit from the mine. Unlike last years exercise, this years was designed to simulate a condition in which the miners would not be able to exit the mine safely, and they were forced to find a rescue shelter.
The groups switched class areas after this, in order for everyone to get hands on training in the mine and with the first aid dummy. The day concluded with a question and answer session.
As always, MVI would like to thank Joe Spiker and the rest of the instructors at Dolls Run for putting on a a great course that left all of our employees better prepared to be able to react quickly in case of an emergency. Also, thanks goes to Robert and CED Blueridge Electric Supply for providing lunch on site.