Gov. Matt Bevin has declared Oct. 30, 2018 as Mine Rescue Day in Kentucky in honor of all mine-rescue team members who risk their lives performing rescues during mine emergencies.
As Gov. Bevin noted in the proclamation, Kentucky is home to the nation’s second largest number of coal miners and employs 12.1 percent of the nation’s miners, all of whom depend on mine rescue teams in the event of a mine disaster.
Department for Natural Resources Commissioner John Small praised the 64 mine safety specialists, all of whom are trained to perform mine rescue work. “I’m proud of the people who train hard and prepare to do this at the potential risk to their own lives,” Commissioner Small said.
Mine safety specialists remove risk from the workplace as well as provide mine-rescue coverage to all Kentucky mines. They do this through miner training and education, as well as through, hands-on observations.
Effective July 1st 2017, a legislative change has allowed the DMS to become more proactive in its continuing mission of keeping miners safe. Since the Mine Safety Law took effect, mine safety specialists are in Kentucky mines more than ever, assisting both miners and mining companies.
In the first six months of 2018, DMS mine safety specialists performed 1,654 on the job observations contacting 27 percent of Kentucky’s miners about risk in the workplace. When a safety issue was found, the risk was discussed with the miner and a solution was found to make the workplace safer.
DMS also distributed emergency awareness bulletins and safety alerts that provide information to miners and companies that can be used in safety meetings or “tool box” talks.
“We ask all Kentuckians to acknowledge these individuals who work to make miners and mines, safer so that all Kentucky miners go home to their loved ones each and every day,” said Jim Vicini, director of the Division of Mine Safety.