Charter of the Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission

The tragedies at the Sago Mine and the Alma Mine have revealed vulnerabilities at some underground coal mines that must be addressed to afford miners additional protection. Over the past two decades significant developments in new information-age technology and practice have been realized, some of which could find applications in underground coal mines to improve safety, e.g., communications, information analysis to support decision-making, emergency response, training, etc.

The Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission will study existing and new technologies, as used in various industries, to determine which can improve the protection of underground coal miners, who work in a quickly changing industry, which may require new perspectives and approaches. Through information-gathering meetings, the Commission will particularly examine the conditions under which various technologies and training procedures can significantly increase the odds of survival for miners in emergency situations.

A report reflecting recommendations of specific practices and technologies and safety-related gaps that could better protect miners will be drafted by June 30, 2006, be peer-reviewed, and then published before the end of the year.