Exercises: The Swiss Army Knife of Emergency Preparedness
Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, October 2011, Beaver, WV.
Exercises are vital to the emergency planning process. They are a practical way for miners and operators to develop problem-solving, decision-making, communication, and leadership skills needed to escape or respond to a mine emergency or disaster. Exercises identify areas that are proficient and those that need improvement. Lessons learned from exercises can be used to revise emergency response plans, and provide a basis for training to improve proficiency in executing those plans. This presentation introduced participants to the value of conducting exercises and highlight ways exercises can help at different stages of training programs. The session provided an overview of exercise design, conduct, evaluation, and improvement planning. It featured additional training and documentation tools offered by the Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP) that can be adapted and applied to mine safety. Twenty-four mine safety trainers participated in this workshop discussion.
17th Annual Training Materials Competition
Training Resources Applied to Mining (TRAM) Conference, October 2012, Beaver, WV.
Wheeling Jesuit University’s Center for Educational Technologies submitted Toolbox Training and Dust Management training materials to the Mine Safety and Health Administration, National Mine Health and Safety Academy’s annual training materials competition. Toolbox Training was recognized with a first place award as the best printed material entry in the competition. Both Toolbox Training and Dust Management were disseminated to approximately 300 conference participants. Eighty-three conference participants visited the MISTTI exhibition booth for more information regarding the MISTTI project.
Tabletop Exercises for Mine Emergency Response
International Society of Mine Safety Professionals, Critical Issues Conference, June 2013, Breakout Session, Austin TX.
As mines become safer and disasters fewer, there are smaller numbers of miners experienced in handling emergencies. Tabletop exercises offer an effective method for discussing plans, procedures, and policies in the context of an emergency scenario before investing the high level of time, cost, and resources necessary for a functional or full-scale exercise. Tabletops can motivate miners to think as they would in a real event and to solve problems as a group. This break out session modeled facilitating and evaluating a tabletop exercise for an underground coal mine emergency. Twenty individuals from industry and regulatory agencies attended the break-out sessions and provided feedback information. Additionally, the team staffed a conference exhibition booth where both the Toolbox Training and Dust Management modules were displayed and disseminated.
Active Training and Tabletop Exercises for Prevention and Preparedness
36th Annual Mine Trainers Association Conference, September 2013, Whittington, IL.
There is a continuous need to improve training strategies to better enable miners to identify, avoid, prevent, and respond to unsafe working conditions in underground mines. Active training and tabletop exercises have emerged over time as reliable methods for enhancing understanding and retention of information, critical thinking, and decision making. This session provided examples of training strategies for topics such as hazard recognition, coal dust, and ventilation. It introduced tabletop exercise resources that trainers can use to motivate miners to apply knowledge to realistic scenarios, solve problems as a group, and take an active responsibility for their learning. Thirty-eight trainers attended the presentation and received copies of Toolbox Training and Dust Management.
Task 3: Mine of the Future
This task consisted on five subtasks concerned with using new technology and approaches to improve mine safety.
Task 4: International Mining Health and Safety Symposium
The Mining and Industrial Safety Technology and Training Innovation (MISTTI) project orchestrated a symposium: Wheeling Jesuit University’s 4th International Mining Health & Safety Symposium that was held April 7-8, 2011, at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, WV.
Mine Safety Award
During the MISTTI work it was decided that the project would present The Mine Safety Technology Innovation Award to a successful mine safety project or organization. The award was presented on April 30, 2013 to Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College..
Task 5: Mine Disaster Prevention and Mine Rescue
The main goal of this task was to investigate mine disasters and mine rescue.
Photos throughout this website courtesy of Kelly Michals, Southern West Virginia Community and Technical College, and © Fotolia.com.