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The Bureau of Mines, headquartered in Vincennes, Indiana, inspects all Indiana underground coal mining operations and certifies specific mining occupations. The Bureau also maintains a mine rescue station, trains mine rescue teams, and collects and indexes mine maps. Currently there are eight active underground mines in the State of Indiana. (view list).
The Indiana General Assembly established the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety in 1945 as a Bureau within the Indiana Department of Labor, although state authority to regulate mine safety existed in other forms much earlier than 1945. For general information on the structure of the Indiana Bureau of Mines and Mine Safety, see Indiana Code 22-1-1-4 et seq. After the United States Congress passed the federal Mine Improvement and New Emergency Response Act of 2006, the Indiana General Assembly aligned most state law requirements with federal requirements, and generally mines are required to follow the regulatory standards of the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Nevertheless, Indiana still prescribes a number of duties to mine operators, the mining board, and the Bureau of Mines. You can read the state law requirements at Indiana Code 22-10 et seq.
Bureau of Mines Contact: Don “Blink” McCorkle, Construction Technology Building at Vincennes University, 324 West Red Skelton Boulevard, Vincennes, IN 47591. Telephone: (812) 888-4514.
The Mining Board oversees all certification testing for underground miners on a quarterly basis. The five mining board members are appointed by the governor. Testing takes place for certifications for mine foreman, mine examiner, belt examiner, hoisting engineer, and shot firer.
Indiana law requires an inspection of each underground mine at least once per quarter by the Bureau of Mines. The Assistant Commissioner and Chief Mine Inspector of the Bureau of Mines, who are certified mine formen, conducts these inspections. The federal inspectors of MSHA conduct much more frequent inspections of each mine.
Mine Inspection Reports
Indiana Coal Mine Safety Statistics PowerPoint August 2007
Coal mining is regulated under a comprehensive federal safety law (Federal Mine Safety and Health Act) that is administered by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).