Working under the state’s Office of Coal Mine Safety, the group is composed of 13 voting and five non-voting individuals. The council’s purpose, the UTC said, is to maximise the safety of coal mines in Utah and advise the OCMS.
The voting members of the group, all elected to four-year terms, are United Mine Workers of America international vice-president Mike Dalpaiz; Steven Childs of the Skyline mine; Don Shell of the Deer Creek operation; Sufco mine engineering manager John Byars; Consol Energy senior vice-president Jimmy Brock; Utah Mining Association president Robert Weyher Jr; Emery County sheriff Lamar Guymon; Castle View Hospital chief nursing office representative Terri Watkins; University of Utah geology and geophysics professor Walter Arabaz; University of Utah mining engineering professor Kim McCarter; Interwest Mining manager of health, safety and training Ralph Sanich; Mining Health and Safety Solutions president Randy Tatton; and College of Eastern Utah Labor Commission associate vice-president Miles Nelson.
The non-voting members are just as diverse – Utah Labor Commissioner Sherrie Hayashi; Department of Public Safety captain Bruce Riches; state Department of Natural Resources/Division of Oil, Gas and Mining director John Baza; US Bureau of Land Management acting branch chief JD McKenzie; and Allyn C Davis, who serves as the manager of District 9 for the US Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The council will meet quarterly, beginning this week. The agenda for the first gathering includes a review of the Coal Mine Safety Act, evaluation and discussion of the Utah Mine Safety Commission Report and its recommendations, and development of how to prioritise and put those recommendations into place.
The OCMS was founded in 2008 as part of the Mine Safety Act, with director Garth Neilsen appointed shortly after. The act also established the council’s existence and details the categories for each member appointed.