State mine safety officials are seeking federal funds to continue training and re-training Kentucky's miners.
If the request for funds is granted, over $600,000 dollars would pay for instructors and educational materials for six offices in the State Division of Mine Safety.
Spokesperson Beth Minch says those working in surface and underground coal mines receive training. Minch says there are safety risks in both settings. "Heavy rains can cause the structures of rock walls to be different. The pressure from that water can cause separation, can cause cracks, can cause landslides," said Minch.
Minch says training is offered through six offices across the state. She says the Commonwealth has not had a mine fatality for over a year. "This is pretty huge for Kentucky or the coal industry to say that we've been 18 months in and no surface fatalities and 12 months in and no underground fatalities. It's a wonderful thing and it's what we strive to have happen every day," added Minch.
During 2013, more than 19,000 mine workers underwent training, retraining or testing.