In order to ensure the safety of Illinois miners, it is imperative that they receive appropriate training and maintain certifications relating to their competency. The Mine Safety and Training Division provides training in such areas as first aid, mine rescue and emergency medical technician to all miners in the state.
The passage of the Coal Mine Medical Emergencies Act in 1978 stipulated that a trained and certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) must be present when 30 or more individuals are working in a surface or underground mine. The division provides certification and re-certification classes for coal mine emergency medical technicians.
In 1990, the division implemented the Illinois-Accident Prevention Program (I-APP) to provide a more personal approach to identifying and correcting safety hazards in the work place. Since mining by its nature is considered one of the most dangerous occupations, the division decided that a program geared to everyday accidents such as back injuries, slips, falls, etc. would be extremely helpful in preventing accidents and fatalities. To date, this program has proven very successful in both coal and metal/nonmetal industries.
While training is one component to the division's safety program, certification also plays a vital role. The Mine Safety and Training Division issues certificates of competency in such areas as mine examiner, mine manager, hoisting engineer and surface mine supervisor. Not only must a person meet a mining experience requirement but also pass an oral and written exam.
Department of Natural Resources In-house Training
The Mine Safety and Training Division furnishes in-house training for all Department of Natural Resources (DNR) personnel. Division personnel provides American Heart Association Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), basic first aid and Automated External Defibrillation (AED) training. Since many of the Department's staff work either individually or at remote locations DNR believes these basic life support skills are important.