South Dakota MSHA State Grants Program

The Mine Safety and Health Program is located within the Mining Engineering and Management Department at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology in Rapid City, South Dakota. This program was implemented in 2003 making mine health and safety training available for the South Dakota mining community. It continues to provide training opportunities for miners and contractors working at sand, gravel and stone operations; metal and nonmetal mining operations throughout the state of South Dakota. Three training sites (in the south, central and western parts of the State) are utilized by the program making it convenient for mine operators, miners, and contractors to receive training which meets Federal training requirements for New Miner Training and Annual Refresher Training. Most training is presented on the campus of the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology but also conducted at the employer's work site or at a site convenient to the mining operation upon request.

Our program is currently funded by grants received from the Mine Safety and Health Administration. MSHA grants have given us an opportunity to focus on developing training specific to mine emergency training. We also generate a modest amount of program income from course registration fees.

The primary objective of this program is to further MSHA’s mission, of protecting the safety and health of the nation’s miners, in South Dakota. In 2003, mining industry in the United States was challenged by then Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health, Mr. David D. Lauriski, to achieve over the following 4 years certain goals:

  • Reduce fatal mining accidents by 15% each year for the next four years (below the baseline established in FY 2000: 88 mining fatalities);
  • Reduce the non-fatal days lost incidence rate by 50% within the same period;
  • Reduce the percentage of respirable dust samples (coal and silica) exceeding the applicable dust standards by 5% per year for designated high-risk occupations; and
  • Reduce the percentage of noise exposures above the citation level in all mines by 5%.

Because this program is primarily funded with grants, our specific objectives may change depending upon the focus of the current grants. Our specific objectives for 2010 to 2013 will be:

  • To reduce injuries and illnesses in mining operations through a focused and comprehensive training program that:
  • Educates mine workers on how to best protect themselves from risks and hazards in the mining environment, and
  • Expands the number of qualified mine safety and health trainers in the United States.