South Central Joint Mine Health and Safety Conference
April 10-13, 2017
The 35th annual South Central Joint Mine Health and Safety Conference was held in Grapevine, Texas April 10-13 at the Gaylord Texan. This grand facility accommodates many conference goers. This year, the mining group numbered about 350. Several Oklahoma mingin companies attened and/or sponsored this multi-state event. There were over 35 vendors in the exhibit hall. The Oklahoma Department of Mines (ODM) was among the exhibitors. Our booth was manned by ODM Coal Permit Officer Stacy Woody, ODM Inspector Kevin Woody, and Sherry Stanley. There was information on ODM's programs, ODM Safety Grams and Oklahoma's Surface Safety Standards. ODM's operational information cards and our new reflective harhat stickers were distributed. For this conference, ODM designed and purchased an additional center banner with our newly designed logo. This center banner displays several historic mining photographs. The booth and the participants represented ODM very professionally.
The ODM conference attendees were Director Mary Ann Pritchard, Deputy Director Douglas Schooley, and Minerals Division Administrator Richard Shore along with OMTI Director Clarence (Buzz) Stanley.
A wide range of subjects were offered during the daily workshops with many informative presentations. During the MSHA awards luncheon, a number of Oklahoma mining operators were recognized for their safety records, with awards, including our own Mining Commissioner John Curtis for his Sherwood Construction Co. dba Greenhill Materials.
One of the most important aspects of this conference is to network with colleagues and make new acquaintances, as well as discussing national issues with MSHA representatives. ODM also attended a private meeting with MSHA South Central Director, Mike Davis, and his assistant Will O'Dell. (Mary Ann, Doug, and Richard met with the gentlemen.) Several issues were discussed such as state and federal relationships, the financial impact of the budget cuts for both MSHA and Oklahoma and future projections of the MSHA grant.