The primary responsibility of the Accident Investigation Team for the Division of Mine Safety (DMS) is to investigate all serious and fatal mining accidents within Kentucky. Determining the cause of such accidents is crucial in achieving the desired goal of zero accidents. As stated in the mission statement for DMS, the goal of the Accident Investigation Team is to ensure that all coal miners in the Commonwealth have a safe work environment and to foster safe work practices that will ensure each coal miner returns home uninjured.
Safety Analysis, Training and Certification
The primary responsibilities of Safety Analysis, Training and Certification is two-fold in that the safety analyst portion is in place to help prevent mine accidents and fatalities by observing and evaluating the work habits of miners while at the same time providing on‑the‑job counseling to the individual miner and assisting in correcting any unsafe or potentially hazardous actions. The training and certification portion conducts professional-level miner training and develops programs from prepared course outlines and scripts.
Safety Inspections and Licensing
The primary responsibilities of Safety Inspections and Licensing are to assist the owner, operator, lessee or licensee of each mine to procure a license from DMS. Any owner, operator, lessee or licensee who assumes control of a mine, opens a new mine or reopens an abandoned mine during any calendar year must obtain a license before mining operations begin. Safety inspections are made by well-qualified and trained inspectors who carry out and enforce Kentucky laws and associated regulations. Inspectors report on the condition of the mine. In addition to the licensing and inspection of coal mines, the division also produces an annual report that covers the complete operation of all mines in the state and includes the number of accidents, the number of persons employed and the amount of coal mined.
The Drug-Free Workplace program allows a company that is a licensee of DMS to submit a written copy of their drug-free work place program to DMS for certification. If the program is then certified by DMS, then the licensee is eligible for a 5 percent credit on their premium for the worker’s compensation insurance.
The Mine Mapping Division was created from a need for a comprehensive and accessible system for the locations of Kentucky underground and surface mines. Historically, mine disasters strengthened the urgency for the Commonwealth to develop a GIS (Geographic Information System) Mine Mapping System and to revise the statutes, regulations and agency policies on how mine mapping information is shared. Coal mining disasters prompted the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) to establish a task force to review the availability, accuracy and quality of mine maps.
DMS has a long and proud history of providing mine rescue services for underground mining operations in Kentucky. It is important that every miner in the Commonwealth know that should a mine rescue event occur while he/she is in the mine, Kentucky mine rescue teams are ready to respond to any emergency. DMS' Mine Rescue teams provide these services by operating under Kentucky regulations KRS 351.190 (mine rescue divisions and stations -- supplies and equipment) and KRS 351.191 (trained mine rescue team to be available within specified driving time of each mine).