The Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) announced today that it has allocated $8,348,423 in health and safety training grants for 47 states and the Navajo Nation in fiscal year 2014.

Grantees will use the funds to provide federally mandated training to miners. The grants cover training and retraining of miners working at surface and underground coal and metal and nonmetal mines, including miners engaged in shell dredging or employed at surface stone, sand and gravel mining operations.

Grants were awarded based on applications from states, and they are administered by state mine inspectors' offices, state departments of labor, and state-supported colleges and universities. Each recipient tailors the program to the needs of its mines and miners — including mining conditions and hazards miners may encounter — and also provides technical assistance.

The state grants program was authorized by the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act of 1969. States first received funding to provide health and safety training to miners in 1971.

"These state grants support the safety and health mission contained in the Mine Act," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "These federal funds will enable miners to better prepare for the task at hand and arm them with the proper knowledge to avoid accidents and injuries."

In addition to health and safety training, some states use these grants to support their mine emergency response efforts and other Mine Act functions.