Mines News

Release Date Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Mines Professor to Advise Top US Officials on Mining Safety

Andrea Brickey, Ph.D., an associate professor in the Department of Mining and Management, has been appointed to a national advisory committee for mine safety. 

RAPID CITY, SD (Feb. 18, 2021) — South Dakota Mines associate professor Andrea Brickey, Ph.D., has been appointed to the Mine Safety and Health Research Advisory Committee, a group of mining experts advising the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the director of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

Brickey, who is an associate professor in the Department of Mining Engineering and Management, will serve a three-year term alongside industry representatives, union representatives and other academics. The committee is tasked with providing advice on the conduct of mine safety research and evaluating the methods, relevancy and results of supported research activities. Some of the primary focus areas for mine safety and health research include reducing exposure to respirable dust, improved mine ventilation systems and reducing equipment-related accidents.

“The mining industry has made great strides in reducing accidents and health-related illnesses, but there is still work to be done. The industry’s goal is zero harm to miners. I am honored to serve on this committee to help advise federal agencies on safety and health research and continue moving our industry towards achieving zero harm,” she says.

Health and safety issues are already on Brickey’s radar – she’s currently one year into a five-year, $1.2 million grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health in collaboration with Colorado School of Mines. The grant is focused on incorporating the safety and health needs of miners into the planning and operation of underground mines. “We’re developing ways to integrate ventilation into the mine planning process to reduce exposure to diesel particulate matter and respirable dust.  Our students are using machine learning techniques to predict these contaminants associated with various mining activities. The goal of this research is to create a more holistic mine-planning process that reduces miners’ exposure to safety and health hazards. Right now, dust and diesel particulate matter are addressed during mine operations.” she says. “We want to have it be an integral part of the planning process before it can become an operational challenge.” Earlier implementation of these safety considerations will improve the work environment for miners, while also improving efficiencies in the industry.

The end result will be a “safer mine” and a healthier workforce, she says. 

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About South Dakota Mines  

Founded in 1885, South Dakota Mines is one of the nation’s leading engineering, science and technology universities. South Dakota Mines offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and a best-in-class education at an affordable price. The university enrolls 2,475 students with an average class size of 24. The South Dakota Mines placement rate for graduates is 96 percent, with an average starting salary of more than $66,500. For these reasons College Factual ranks South Dakota Mines, the #1 Engineering School for Return on Investment. Find us online at www.sdsmt.edu and on FacebookTwitter, LinkedInInstagram and Snapchat.  

Contact: Lynn Taylor Rick, 605-394-2554, Lynn.TayorRick@sdsmt.edu