Mine Safety Commission Announces Members, Plan of Action
Washington, D.C. — The Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission today began its review of how new and existing technologies and training procedures can be better adapted to the unique conditions found in the nation's underground coal mines. Commission Chairman Dr. R. Larry Grayson, Chair of the Department of Mining and Nuclear Engineering at the University of Missouri — Rolla, announced the names of safety and technology experts who have agreed to serve on the commission (see below) and presented his views of how the commission would proceed.
"I'm delighted that so far eight distinguished safety experts have agreed to work with me in identifying new opportunities for improving underground coal mine safety. With the addition of a wireless technology expert soon to be named, they will ensure that our investigation will be thorough and impartial, and that our recommendations will be practical and effective," said Dr. Grayson.
"Our intention is to hold several meetings over the next four months, consult with safety and technology experts both here and abroad to canvas best practices and the most promising uses of technology, and make public our initial recommendations in early July. These findings will then be peer reviewed and available in final form by early October," said Grayson. "We all understand the urgency of our work but appreciate the need for thoughtful and thorough analysis before recommending practices that will directly affect miners' health and safety."
The Mine Safety Technology and Training Commission was formed by the National Mining Association (NMA) in January of this year following the tragic events in West Virginia underground coal mines. NMA hopes the commission will be able to suggest ways technological devices and uses can be tailored to underground coal mining and accelerate the significant progress that has improved mine safety in recent years.
Dr. Grayson agreed to chair the commission, whose members he chose and whose deliberations and findings will be conducted and reported independently of NMA.
The following are commission members as of this date:
Dr. R. Larry Grayson
Chair, Department of Mining and Nuclear Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla. A former coal miner and mine superintendent, Dr. Grayson also directs the $4 million NIOSH-funded Western U.S. Mining Safety & Health Training and Translation Center. Chaired the National Research Council committee on Material Flows Accounting of Natural Resources, Products and residuals. Ph.D. in Engineering, West Virginia University.
Mark N. Beauchamp
Dr. Amy K. Donahue
J. Brett Harvey
Dr. Jeffrey L. Kohler
Dr. Thomas Novak
Cecil E. Roberts, Jr.
H. F. "Buddy" Webb