May 21, 2004 — More than 400 experts on safety, health and research issues in the mining industry are expected to attend the Combined Mine Safety and Health Conference Monday May 24 through Friday May 28 at the Little America Hotel in Salt Lake City.
News media are invited to cover the event, which is a joint venture involving the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals and the Annual Institute on Mining Health, Safety and Research hosted by the University of Utah and Virginia Tech.
“It’s because of efforts like this meeting that the mining industry has become one of the safest of the heavy industries,” says M. K. “Kim” McCarter, chair of mining engineering at the University of Utah. “The purpose of the meeting is to provide safety professionals with the most recent and current concepts on managing safety and health in the minerals industry.”
Following a welcome from Utah Gov. Olene Walker, keynote addresses scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to noon Monday May 24 in the Little America Ballroom will be:
— “Institutionalizing a Culture of Prevention” by David D. Lauriski, the son of an eastern Utah coal miner and now the U.S. assistant secretary of labor who heads the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
— “Back to the Future” by J. Brett Harvey, president and chief executive officer of CONSOL Energy, Inc., a major coal and natural gas producer.
— “Keeping Safety on TRACK – Developing a Safety Culture” by William Champion, president and chief executive officer of Kennecott Utah Copper Corp.
During a noon Monday luncheon in Ballroom A, Lauriski will receive the Professional Award for Mining Health, Safety and Research.
Sessions Monday afternoon and Tuesday will include talks on a variety of safety and health issues, including dust control in coal mines, noise abatement for mine ventilation systems, vehicle collision avoidance systems for open-pit mines, reducing accidents from surface haulage at mines, successful closure of mine shafts, and compliance with Department of Homeland Security rules for explosives.
Two University of Utah researchers will speak during a 2 p.m. Tuesday session in the Ballroom: Walter Arabasz, director of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations, will discuss estimates of the largest probable earthquakes induced by coal mining, and Felipe Calizaya, an associate professor of mining engineering, will discuss hazards in moving large volumes of ore underground.
A variety of two- to eight-hour short courses will be offered Monday through Wednesday, including challenging citations and handling health and safety inspections.
The meeting’s Critical Issues Conference on Wednesday through Friday will feature sessions that include talks on safety and health opportunities in a resurgent mining industry and managing an aging work force; and training sessions on topics such as health and safety concerns during welding, tire safety, new causes of death in the industry, fall protection, crane safety, fatigue during mining and a variety of legal issues.