Last week, Mon Valley Integration held it’s annual Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Part 48 Underground refresher training at the Dolls run Training Center near Morgantown, WV. Per MSHA regulations, the course included many aspects of mandatory health and safety standards which are related to our employees tasks when entering an underground mining facility.

The following aspects of safety and health were reviewed during classroom sessions: transportation controls and communication systems, barricading, roof or ground control, ventilation, emergency evacuation and firefighting plans, first aid, electrical hazards, prevention of accidents, 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 received a tour of the mine area, and then were subjected to smoke made from vegetable oil. They were instructed that they were in a mine fire and 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 find their way out of the mine.

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. After lunch the groups were brought back together to work with a simulated fire and extinguisher system.

MVI would like to thank Joe Spiker and the rest of the instructors at Dolls Run for putting on an engaging course that not only held everyone’s interest, but better prepared our workers to be able to react quickly in case of an emergency.