The Times West Virginian

Local News

December 6, 2013

WVU director honored for work in mine safety

‘Because of You’ award presented to Jim Dean for 22 years of contributions

FAIRMONT — After mining disasters in West Virginia and in the United States, professionals look at how they can make mines safer.

Jim Dean, director of mining and industrial extension at West Virginia University, received the “Because of You” Safety Professional Award thanks to his significant contributions to mining safety.

Dean was presented the award at the 2013 Spirit of the Coalfields Miners’ Celebration at the Tamarack Conference Center in Beckley in October.

“I was deeply honored, given the quality and number of safety professionals working in the mining industry and associated groups,” Dean said about receiving the award.

The “Because of You” award is given to individuals or groups that have made a significant contribution to the mining industry.

Over the 22 years Dean has been involved with the mining industry, whether it be teaching or acting on safety committees, he has given his fair share of contributions to mine safety.

Dean is serving on the National Research Council Committee, which looks at self-escape in coal mines. He was also selected to be acting director of the West Virginia Office of Miners Health Safety and Training in 2006 by request of then-Gov. Joe Manchin.

“It was a culmination of activities, including various analyses of accident information, testing of new technologies, and new training facilities and programs,” Dean said.

While directing the West Virginia Office of Miners Health Safety and Training following the Sago and Aracoma disasters, Dean said his duties included investigating those disasters, other fatalities and accidents, and other duties.

Dean said the reason he has been dedicated to mining safety is simply because he cares about people in the mining industry.

“They are truly a great group doing an incredibly difficult job,” he said. “Most have an incredible work ethic and strong sense of honesty and integrity.”

As for the future of mining safety, Dean has his hand in that as well. He is currently serving on the West Virginia Mine Safety Technology Task Force, which looks at new technology for improving mine safety and emergency operations.

“I believe that there can be continued improvement in mine safety through behavioral- or performance-based safety approaches and technological approaches,” Dean said.

Dean said some of the new technology in mine safety will require innovation and more streamlined approval processes through the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

“Some technologies that I think hold the greatest promise include cameras on mobile equipment coupled with image recognition for intelligent machine control, proximity detection and mine-wide monitoring technologies,” he said.

Dean is originally from Rowlesburg and attended Fairmont State College, then West Virginia University. He first started working at WVU in 1991 as a lecturer in the Mining Engineering Department. In 1994, he became director of the Mining and Industrial Extension Service.

Dean said WVU has been very helpful to him and the department.

“They’re supportive by allowing me and our department the freedom to choose the areas of emphasis we select to work in,” he said. “I work with a great group of classified staff, instructors and other professionals both inside the department, our college and across the university.”

Dean said his wife Nancy of 26 years and their daughter Breann have also been very supportive of his work and travel schedule.

Dean has a list of accolades in the mine safety field, including the Distinguished West Virginian Award in 2006, the President’s Distinguished Service Award in 2008 and the National Research Council Committee Member of the National Academies in 2012.

Email Emily Gallagher at egallagher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @EGallagherTWV.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Justin with Group.JPG Fraternity and community surprise Justin Heydon with generous gift

    How hard is it to keep a secret for months among 400 people?
    For the past three months, one secret has been kept from Morgantown resident Justin Heydon and his family.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fast sentenced to prison for distribution of child porn

    A Fairmont man has been sentenced to two years in prison for distributing child pornography.

    July 22, 2014

  • BOE questions reading programs

    Questions were raised at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday as to whether or not certain reading programs up for renewal this year are the best option for students.
    FastForWord and Reading Assistant subscriptions for the 2014-15 academic year will cost the BOE $97,393. The board approved the renewal, but only after discussion.

    July 22, 2014

  • Fairmont Farmers Market drawing larger crowds

     Representatives with the Fairmont Farmers Market are hoping to grow this local community offering.
    Kate Greene, executive director of Main Street Fairmont, said farmers markets are growing across the country as people are reconnecting with the idea of access to healthy food, and Marion County has a real opportunity to benefit from this trend because it’s such an agricultural place to live. However, some of the farmers markets in surrounding areas have started to grow a little bit more quickly, which has been to the detriment of Marion County.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mannington Council OKs equipment purchases

     Mannington City Council approved purchases regarding safety and maintenance.
    At its Monday meeting, council discussed and approved the purchases of a Taser, a 5-foot cutter for a tractor and a lift for vehicle maintenance.
    The Taser was purchased for the Mannington Police Department.
    “We have four full-time police officers. We only had three Tasers,” Taylor said. “So we needed to purchase a fourth which was budgeted for.”

    July 22, 2014

  • Brown vs BOE 2.jpg Integration was not embraced by everyone at first

    (Editor’s note: This is the next in a regular series looking at how the U.S. Supreme Court decision of Brown v. Board of Education impactedMarion County.)

     schools integrated in 1955, everything was black and white.
    “Before they integrated the schools, you just knew where you were supposed to be, and that’s what you did,” said Pat Smith, who went to Dunbar High School and then to Fairmont Senior High School after integration in 1955. “... You just dealt with it. You knew what you could do and you knew what you couldn’t do … I don’t even know what would’ve happened if somebody had crossed the lines, but we knew not to do that.”

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • BOE questions reading programs

    Questions were raised at the Marion County Board of Education meeting Monday as to whether or not certain reading programs up for renewal this year are the best option for students.

    July 21, 2014

  • Mannington council OKs safety and maintenance purchases

    Mannington city council approved purchases regarding safety and maintenance.

    July 21, 2014

  • Phase One White Hall Sidewalk Project completed

    The first phase of the White Hall side walk project has been completed.

    July 21, 2014

  • Boil-water advisory issued for Rivesville PWS

    A boil water notice has been issues to the customers of the Rivesville Public Water System serving the area of William Smith Road.

    July 21, 2014

Featured Ads
TWV Video Highlights
NDN Editor's Picks
House Ads