Utah has a history rich in mining including copper, silver and uranium. Often when mines no longer produced, they were simply abandoned leaving equipment, open shafts, tunnels and piles of waste rock. In 1975, the Utah Mined Reclamation Act was passed making it illegal for mines to be abandoned. Today there are an estimated 17,000 mine openings scattered across Utah.
The Abandoned Mine Reclamation Program (AMRP) works to protect the public from dangers of old mines by sealing off access to openings and cleaning up waste. Old mining sites can be intriguing to unsuspecting explorers but can contain dangerous gases, unstable structures and explosives. Stay out and Stay Alive!
Attention Contractors! The AMRP is reviewing and updating its health and safety protocols for work on abandoned mine sites. Although the review is not yet completed, it appears likely that the new protocols will require workers to have 40-Hour Hazardous Waste Site Worker (HAZWOPER) certification. This will ensure that workers know how to protect themselves when working with materials such as mine dumps that may contain hazardous contaminants.
HAZWOPER training is a 40 hour (one week) course. It is offered at a limited number of dates and locations in Utah. Contractors who want to bid on future AMRP projects should consider HAZWOPER training for their employees now so that they will be qualified when the new protocols are adopted.
HAZWOPER training is available through the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health (RMCOEH).
For RMCOEH course offerings and schedules, click here .
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