Women in Mining National (WIM USA) inked a historic agreement with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration that both believe will change the face of mining by boosting mining safety and diversity.
The pact, confirmed March 31, will provide WIM USA members, as well as the Education Foundation of WIM USA (WIMEF), with access to information, technical assistance, guidance and training resources for the promotion of diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace practices. It will also aid in the critical factor of protecting miners’ safety and health.
A signing ceremony was attended by WIM USA President Ashley Chancellor and Vice President Julia Potter alongside MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations Patricia Silvey and Assistant Secretary Christopher Williamson.
Specifically, WIM USA and MSHA will work together to achieve these training and education goals:
- Update and develop education and training program
resources for outreach efforts used to educate various audiences about the mining industry;
- Ensure that health and safety programs are fair and inclusive and reach all persons in the industry workforce, including persons with limited English proficiency or low- literacy skills; and
- Ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is available, accessible, and suitably fitted to all workers in the industry, including those who are hard to fit, and that workers understand how and when to properly use PPE.
MSHA and WIM USA will also work together to achieve the following outreach and communication goals:
- Develop and disseminate information through print, electronic media, and links from MSHA’s and WIM USA’s websites;
- Speak, exhibit or appear at WIM USA conferences, local meetings, or other training events;
- Speak, exhibit or appear at MSHA and industry training events such as the Training Resources Applied to Mining Conference (TRAM), the Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association’s National Meeting, National Mine Rescue, First Aid, Bench, and Technician Team Contest, and other mine rescue contest training;
- Share information on best practices through training and education programs and materials; and
- Identify and publish health and safety practices that address equitable and inclusive workplace needs and practices.
Finally, WIM USA and MSHA will work together to achieve goals related to promoting the national dialogue on workplace safety and health:
- Convene or participate in workshops, conferences,
roundtable discussions, or other meetings to forge innovative solutions to worker health and safety issues at mines, with emphasis on workplace equity and inclusion.
“This alliance agreement is a significant step towards promoting inclusivity in the mining industry. With the collaboration of WIM USA and MSHA, we can expect to see more progress in the future. It is also fitting that this agreement was signed during Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the achievements of women and their contributions to society,” WIM USA said.
“We owe special thanks to Megan Lavage from MSHA and Judy Bolis from Women in Mining Denver/USA for their dedication and hard work in making this historic agreement a reality. We look forward to continued communication and collaboration between WIM USA and MSHA.”
The groups will work in collaboration for numerous training, education targets with the overarching mission to change the face of diversity and safety in the mining industry.