ASSE Alliances

Summary of ASSE/MSHA Alliance Implementation Team Meeting

National Mine Health and Safety Academy
Beaver, West Virginia

Implementation Team Participants

  MSHA Participants ASSE Participants
  Pat Brady Wes Harkin
  John Caylor Dave Heidorn
  Jeff Duncan Randy McBurnett
  Don Foster  
  Steve Gigliotti  

Overview of the Academy

Jeff Duncan and Pat Brady provided an in-depth overview of the Academy and its safety education initiatives. Discussion centered on the possibility of finding ways to improve the training programs, on how to better understand safety management and to provide training to inspectors that goes beyond inspections and involves creating more of a mindset for safety management.

Best Practices

Steve Gigliotti made a presentation on MSHA's efforts to share and encourage best practices. On MSHA's web site currently are 140 different safety ideas aimed at management as well as miners' tips providing ideas gained from MSHA's debriefing activities following mining accidents, and has engaged in various programs to highlight particular safety issues, including "Let's Get It On" a program with NIOSH involving PPE. In particular, a portion of the program on fall protection was discussed. MSHA has a list serve providing this information. MSHA's relationship with NIOSH and the Bureau of Mines was also discussed.

Discussion involved how to engage ASSE members in these activities. ASSE would encourage members to sign up for the list serve and a committee. ASSE described its communication outlets, including Professional Safety, the Mining Practice Specialty newsletter and GA Update and encouraged MSHA to provide articles and information to ASSE for distribution in those publications. MSHA participation in ASSE's PDC was also discussed. A subcommittee of Don Foster, Dave Heidorn and Randy McBurnett was established to determine how to establish an e-mail communication system that would share this information as well as encourage MSHA district offices to share their activities with ASSE members and encourage ASSE members to make themselves available as resources for district office staff meetings and safety initiatives.

Safety Management/Accident Prevention

John Forte of MSHA provided an overview of MSHA's current training initiatives concerning safety. The need to ensure that training involved the latest safety management concepts was discussed as was the possibility of updating MSHA's Accident Prevention Training Program, which is an offered course but has not recently been taught. Instead of this course, safety management is an integral part of all other courses offered by the Academy.

Increasing Mutual Understanding

ASSE participants presented their thoughts on the need for initiatives that would bridge an understanding of the roles both safety professionals working in mines and mine inspectors play. With more understanding, the possibility for conflict related to inspections could be lessened and efforts could be directed toward more cooperative relationships aimed at encouraging mine safety and health.

Discussion centered on the possibility of sharing auditing tools and developing this idea as part of the communication team efforts.

MSHA Training Project

Jerry Silver of Performance Associates International, under contract to MSHA, presented MSHA's initiative to improve inspector training by ensuring that training matches the actual job inspectors are being asked to do. A job task analysis is being developed that will be used to design MSHA training.

Discussion involved the need to publicizing this positive, progressive initiative, which could be done through ASSE publications and possibly the PDC.

Next Meeting

The afternoon of February 18 and morning of February 19, 2004, was proposed for the next meeting of the implementation team. The meeting would be held at ASSE headquarters in Des Plaines, Illinois. This date would be shared among all team members.

Summary of Next Activities

  1. MSHA will pursue publication of articles and sharing information for ASSE's Mining Practice Specialty newsletter and other ASSE publications.
  2. A communications subcommittee of Don Foster, Dave Heidorn and Randy McBurnett will explore establishing an email networking system to enable MSHA and ASSE's mining members to share information and opportunities for ASSE member involvement in MSHA district activities.
  3. ASSE and MSHA will explore opportunities for MSHA involvement at ASSE's PDCs.
  4. Opportunities will be sought to involve individual ASSE members in specific projects, such as the development of best practices communications.