The WV Office of Miners' Health Safety & Training
Date this page was last updated: 01/18/2013
The West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety and Training is one of the oldest WV state agencies, tracing its roots to February 22, 1883 when the first West Virginia mine safety act was passed by the legislature. The first code section called for the appointment of a mine inspector to make certain the mines in the state were "properly drained and ventilated". Not until 1887 would any major revisions of the mining laws occur. In the decades since, many additional mining laws and regulations have been enacted as the industry has evolved. Our agency has gone through an evolution as well.
Prior to 1905, the state was divided into several inspection districts with a Chief Mine Inspector as head of the agency. From 1905 to 1985 our agency was known as the West Virginia Department of Mines, and the number of inspection districts grew from five to more than 50. In 1985 the Department of Mines merged with several other agencies to form the West Virginia Department (later Division) of Energy. In 1991 our agency became the West Virginia Office of Miners' Health Safety and Training.
Currently, our agency consists of approximately 140 employees assigned to four regional offices and the Charleston Headquarters. We employ Inspectors, Safety Instructors, and Administrative support personnel in each regional office. Our inspectors today are responsible for inspecting over 642 mines, quarries and coal handling facilities as well as approximately 2,500 independent contracting companies. Our inspection staff conducts regular inspections and investigates all serious mining accidents as outlined in our mission statement. Our safety instructors provide industry training, review safety programs for all facilities, and conduct certification examinations. We also maintain highly trained and well equipped Mine Rescue Teams. In addition to these activities, our agency issues permits and approvals, maintains industry statistics, and develops and publishes industry training materials.
We hope you find your visit to our web site useful and informative.
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