Mine Safety Services
The purpose of the Mine Safety Program is to promote safe mining practices through program services: inspections at surface and underground mines, with a focus on accident prevention; certification testing; mine rescue; and safety training.
Mine Safety Inspectors also inspect oil and gas well plugging operations where necessary to protect coal reserves and underground coal miners. The program derives authority from the Ohio Revised Code to enforce and supervise compliance with all health and safety laws at Ohio's mines.
Mine Safety Inspections & Accident Prevention
The division's inspectors conduct safety inspections at all mine sites and investigate accidents reported by mine operators. Information collected during these investigations is analyzed and used to prepare recommendations for prevention of similar accidents. The division utilizes Special Alert Bulletins to share this information with the mining industry.
Mine Safety staff conduct certification testing for a variety of underground and surface mining positions and assist in the training that helps prospective applicants acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become certified. Certification is an essential part of promoting and maintaining the safety and productivity of Ohio's mining community.
DMRM maintains mine rescue stations strategically located at Barnesville (Belmont County), Cadiz (Harrison County), Glouster (Athens County) and Salem (Columbiana County). Through these four stations, the division maintains a rescue network capable of responding to any mine emergency at any time. In the event of an emergency situation each mine rescue station has a truck containing the equipment necessary to support mine rescue teams. Equipment is regularly serviced, tested and calibrated to maintain a state of readiness. The division also maintains a mobile air quality lab in support of mine rescue efforts.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), and agreements with underground mine operators, the state Mine Rescue Network provides coverage to all underground mines in the state. MSHA inspects each rescue station twice a year for compliance with the Code of Federal Regulations for equipment readiness, and monitors state rescue team training sessions.
Mine Safety Training
The Mine Safety Training program, funded in part by an MSHA training grant, works to improve the health and safety conditions of Ohio's mines. In an effort to reduce fatalities, accidents and mining-related illnesses (like black lung disease and silicosis), Mine Safety Inspectors train miners and contractors how to recognize and respond to safety and health hazards. Classes include Annual Refresher, Electrical, Mine Rescue, First Aid, CPR, New Miner and Certification for Foreman.