The Energy, Mining and Construction Industry Safety (EMCIS) Program at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) is devoted to the development of effective training and education programs for workers engaged in mining operations. The EMCIS Program strives to provide workers with relevant knowledge regarding hazards encountered in the work environment as well as practical tools for reducing the risk of incurring injuries and illness. This knowledge assists workers in becoming active participants in the determination and improvement of the health and safety conditions in the workplace utilizing collaborative employer-employee relationships.
The EMCIS Program presents practical, state-of-the-art information designed for working professionals in the mining and minerals industries. The approach to training focuses on utilizing highly qualified technical professionals with industry experience who can offer real-world examples related to their training topics. In addition, all training promotes active discussions and participation by students through adult learning techniques encompassing visual, auditory and kinesthetic learners.
The EMCIS Program regularly offers Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) certification classes, including MSHA Part 48 New Miner and Annual Refresher training. Additionally, special interest courses, seminars, webinars and online training modules are also offered.
In the Eastern United States, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Training Academy plays a critical role in providing training opportunities to a wide range of professionals in the mining industry. The location of the Academy (Beckley, West Virginia), however, presents certain logistical challenges for individuals working at Western mines, resulting in the under-utilization of this training resource by this industry group. Unfortunately, no comparable training facility currently exists in the Western states. As a consequence, concerns exist over the quality and availability of training opportunities for safety professionals and instructors at Western mining operations and the impact this may have on training at individual mines. Although it is not possible to duplicate a western version of the Academy, it is possible to meet some of the critical training needs for the Western mining industry and its workers through short courses at Western universities. The EMCIS Program began its long and successful history in 1998 when it responded to these concerns and considered the need for a centrally located safety and health training center to service the Western mining community. Surveys of existing training opportunities and discussions with Western mining operators, labor organizations, and mining associations strongly supported the establishment of a safety and health training entity on the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) campus.
Therefore, in 1998, the Western Mining Training Center, a collaboration between CSM and the University of Arizona, was established as part of a National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) cooperative agreement to enhance the quality and availability of health and safety training for mine workers in the Western United States. CSM established the Mine Safety and Health Program (MSHP) to facilitate the mine safety and health training from the CSM campus.
In January 2015, the CSM MSHP became part of the Energy, Mining and Construction Industry Safety (EMCIS) Program within the CSM Mining Engineering Department. This organizational restructuring provides greater resources to accomplish the objectives of the cooperative agreement with NIOSH which is to conduct a miner safety and health training program for miners employed in the Western United States.
Goals and Objectives
The overall goal of the EMCIS program is to serve as a training resource to the Western United States mining industry. Because the EMCIS Program is primarily funded through grants and cooperative agreements, the specific objectives may change depending upon the current focus. Our main objective is to reduce injuries and illnesses in mining operations through a focused and comprehensive training program that:
- Educates mine workers on how to best protect themselves from risks and hazards in the mining environment, and
- Expands the number of qualified mine safety and health trainers in the United States.