Map of U.S. with states represented by training partners highlighted in red.

The Western Mining Safety and Health Training Resource Center works with industry and academia to improve miner health and safety through new partnerships and knowledge-sharing initiatives.

Learning Laboratories

The Center has developed mentor-lead Learning Laboratories that emphasize continuous improvement and evaluation of training outcomes. This structured program provides industry partners with a new forum to share knowledge and best practices in health and safety and a coordinated framework for evaluation of training resources, trainer instruction, and worker competency. For example, our industrial athlete warm-up program is a direct result of knowledge sharing through the Learning Laboratories initiative. With an emphasis on Mentorship, we also are working to increase leadership training resources for supervisors and HSE personnel to facilitate this program.

Learning Laboratories afford new opportunities for industry to move beyond compliance-focused training and toward competency-based, continuous workforce improvement. The Center is actively developing resources and strategies to add "micro training" and competency assessment into everyday meetings, such as pre-shift tailgates and safety briefings. New initiatives include the use of short gaming activities, challenge apps, and quizzes that can capture a snapshot of daily safety competency. Our evaluation and mentorship programs give partners a better picture of the health and safety trajectory of their workforce. For more information, please see our Learning Laboratories Flyer (PDF).

Industry Partnerships

Industry partnerships form the backbone of our health and safety programs. The Center has more than a dozen partners representing all sectors of the mining industry. These include operators in Metal / Non-Metal (9), Coal (4), and Aggregates (3), as well as numerous MSHA State Grants Programs (6), state government agencies (3), professional organizations (labor and trade), and training vendors. Our partners represent a diversity of worker demographics in numerous states across the U.S. These states are highlighted in dark red in the chart above. Collectively, these organizations employ over 200 trainers and well over 20,000 mining industry personnel. We continuously seek to expand the Center's reach and form new industry partnerships; if interested, please contact us.

Participating Industry Partners
Location(s) Sector Overview
Alliance Coal (Gibson County) Princeton, IN Coal Underground coal mine near Princeton, Indiana. The operation employs over 400 workers.
Arch Coal (Tygart Valley) Grafton, WV Coal Producer of metallurgical products and supplier of premium High-Vol A metallurgical coal globally. The corporation employs 3,600 individuals across the U.S.
Arizona Rock Products Association Phoenix, AZ Trade Trade organization representing aggregates producers throughout Arizona.
Arizona State Mine Inspector Phoenix, AZ Government The inspector’s office oversees the safety and regulation of active and inactive mines in Arizona.
ASARCO (Grupo Mexico) Ray Mine, AZ Metal Surface copper mine located 64 miles southeast of Phoenix. The operation typically employs over 1,000 workers.
Cementation Sandy, UT Coal Underground mining contractor with projects located in 6 different states in the USA.
Coeur Mining AK, NV, SD Metal Gold producer with surface (Rochester, NV and Wharf, SD) and underground (Kensington, AK) operations employing 1000 miners.
Drake Cement AZ Aggregates Surface limestone and cement plant near Paulden, AZ, with over 100 employees.
Epiroc Tucson, AZ Trade Global manufacturer of consumables for mining and infrastructure industries located in Tucson, Arizona.
Equinox Gold Mesquite Mine, CA Metal Surface heap leach gold mine located near Brawley, CA. The mine employs over 200 workers.
Fisher Industries Dickinson, ND Trade Trade organization representing aggregates producers throughout the midwest and southwest. The operation employs over 1200 employees (including 6 safety department personnel).
Freeport-McMoRan AZ, Multiple locations Metal Large producer of copper and molybdenum with multiple sites located in southern Arizona. The operation employs 4651 employees
Hecla Mining Coeur d’Alene, ID Metal Deep underground silver mine located 50 miles southeast of Coeur d’Alene, ID. The mine anticipates employing over 2500 workers.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources Springfield, IL Government The office is charged with ensuring the health and safety concerns of the state's coal mines and their employees as well as providing reclamation ensuring public and environmental safety from abandoned mine sites.
International Union of Operating Engineers Washington, DC Labor Trade union headquartered in Washington D.C. The organization represents operating engineers with approximately 400,000 members.
Komatsu Washington, DC Trade Manufacturing corporation headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The company's facilities, distributors, and dealers are in more than 140 countries and directly employ more than 60,000 people.
Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards Boston, MA Government The Massachusetts Department of Labor Standards provides annual refresher training to miners and contractors as mandated for approximately 150 mining operations within the state.
Matrix Project Services Tucson, AZ Trade Construction company located in Tucson, AZ. The company's MSHA training program anticipates approximately 100 miners, trainers, supervisors, and health and safety professionals.
McCraren Compliance Tucson, AZ Training Vendor Training and consulting company located in Tucson, AZ. The company offers MSHA New Miner and Refresher training, as well as OSHA and DOT training.
MSHA. Ed, LLC Winchester, VA Training Vendor MSHA trainer and consultant based in Winchester, VA.
Northern Star Resources (Pogo) Fairbanks, AK Metal Underground gold mine located 30 miles northeast of Delta Junction and 90 miles east of Fairbanks with over 1000 employees.
Rio Tinto AZ, UT Metal Major copper producer with surface and underground mines in Utah (Kennecott) and Arizona (Resolution), respectively, employing over 1000 miners.
Salt River Materials AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, UT Aggregates Supplier of concrete products headquartered near Scottsdale, AZ. The company owns dozens of operations throughout the southwest.
San Xavier Mining Laboratory Tucson, AZ Coal / Metal A student-run, multi-level, underground mining laboratory with a working vertical shaft located 23 miles south of Tucson, AZ.
Shimmick (Bayer) Soda Springs, ID Trade Construction company headquartered in Irvine, CA. The company has delivered projects in more than 20 states and employs over 2500 workers.
South32 Hermosa Mine, AZ Metal Underground zinc, lead, and silver mine approximately 50 miles southeast of Tucson, AZ. The mine is currently in development.
Swaggart Brothers (Caldwell Canyon) Soda Springs, ID Trade Construction company located in Soda Springs, ID. The company's MSHA training program anticipates approximately 100 miners, trainers, supervisors, and health and safety professionals
Vulcan Materials AZ, Multiple locations Aggregates Large supplier of construction materials across the American sun belt. Arizona currently hosts 32 operations.
Wolverine Fuels Sandy, UT Coal Coal producer with underground mines located in Sandy, UT. The operation employs over 950 staff.

Academic Partnerships

The Center is located in and administered by the University of Arizona's Mel & Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, whose faculty and staff, including the Department of Community, Environment & Policy, have made major contributions to the health and policy aspects of our Center. The Center also works closely with numerous other institutes, departments, and colleges within the University of Arizona, including:

The Center is actively engaged with faculty and researchers at the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, including the Geotechnical Center for Excellence and the Mining Safety Center of Excellence. These centers provide invaluable technical expertise on training materials, and they assist us in expanding the reach of our industry training partnerships. The San Xavier Mining Laboratory, as the only student-run multi-level mining facility in the U.S., provides a venue for surface and underground training courses as well as a testbed for piloting new training resources and instructional technologies.

The Center also collaborates with other Universities within academia, sharing technical expertise and providing program resources for miner health and safety. Our current partners include the Colorado School of Mines and the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. If your academic department is interested in collaborating with us on a training research initiative, please contact us.

Participating Academic Partners
Program Overview
Colorado School of Mines Energy, Mining, and Construction Industry Safety (EMCIS) Program The EMCIS Program is part of the Department of Mining Engineering and offers an extensive program in safety and health, including MSHA certification courses, new training materials, and engineering consultation. The Program focuses on improving safety for contractors and other under-served segments of the industry. EMCIS is a longtime collaborator on NIOSH-funded research projects.
Gillette College MSHA State Grants Program (WY) The Industry Safety Training Center began as the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) States Grant program for Wyoming, providing MSHA training and comprehensive safety training for all industries located in Wyoming and the region.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology MSHA State Grants Program (SD) An initiative of the Department of Mining Engineering and Management, this MSHA state grants recipient provides certification courses to South Dakota mines at three training sites dispersed throughout the state.
University of Texas at Austin MSHA State Grants Program (TX) As the MSHA State Grantee for Texas, the University of Texas at Austin's Health and Safety Training Center is responsible for providing compliance training and a variety of other services to improve the conditions of mine safety and health within Texas.