The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health, Inc. will hold its introductory stakeholder meeting on October 10-11, 2012, in Salon AB at the Embassy Suites in Charleston, WV.
The Alpha Foundation was established in April 2012, pursuant to a non-prosecution agreement between Alpha Natural Resources and the United States Attorney’s Office. The Foundation’s vision is to “enable miners in the future to be free of work-related injury or disease by the implementation of the results of the projects funded by the Foundation and undertaken by the best researchers from any discipline that can contribute.” The foundation plans to work toward this vision with a mission to “improve mine health and safety through funding research and development projects by qualified academic institutions and other not-for-profit organizations.”
In order to proceed with this mission, the Foundation is convening a stakeholder research meeting to introduce the Foundation, discuss with the broad research community priorities and issues in mine safety and health research, and solicit recommendations for attracting participation and projects from outstanding researchers and organizations. This meeting will provide essential input to the determination of funding priorities for award of the $48 million available to the Foundation.
Representatives from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), National Mining Association (NMA), United Mine Workers of America (UMWA), United Steel Workers (USW) and the state of West Virginia have been invited to open the meeting. Sessions will explore where research might be targeted and discussion will be organized into four major areas: disaster prevention and response, acute and chronic disease, human systems, and design and technology for prevention. The Foundation’s directors: Michael Karmis, Virginia Tech; David Wegman, University of Massachusetts and Keith Heasley, West Virginia University, will introduce the speakers and panelists.
The meeting will be open and parties interested and/or engaged in mine safety and health research are invited to attend and participate during the discussions.