EMCIS MSHA Training – Fun Not Funny








October 22nd, 2019


9:45 am - 10:45 am 


Nevada 9


CompanyColorado School of Mines

TitleDirector of Program Development


Dr. McDaniel is a registered professional mining engineer with 35 years of experience in underground mining, tunneling and nuclear repository environments. His areas of expertise include mine ventilation, mine technology, underground design, safety, training, qualitative and quantitative risk analysis, and project management. Dr. McDaniel received his BS and ME degrees in Mining Engineering and a Ph.D. in Mining and Earth Systems Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines as well as an MBA from Regis University. He holds the MSHA IS and IU certifications and has developed and conducted safety and health training within the MSHA Part 48 New Miner and Annual Refresher training courses.   

Company: Colorado School of Mines, EMCIS Program

Title: Research Associate

Jerry Powers is a Certified Mine Safety Professional with over 40 years of mining experience in both surface and underground mines.  Mr. Powers received his BS degree from Colorado State University and his MBA from the University of Northern Colorado.  Mr. Powers has been a member of the EMCIS staff for over 5 years and also consults with the Mining and Oil & Gas Industry in manners involving Health & Safety.  He holds the MSHA IU, IS, IN, AN, MS, and FA certifications and has extensive experience in developing and delivering training programs. 

powers jerry


The Colorado School of Mines Energy Mining and Construction Industry Safety (EMCIS) program has invested considerable time and resources too continuously improve the quality and effectiveness of Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) New Miner and Annual Refresher Training. While MSHA dictates the required topics, EMCIS chooses how to deliver the information. EMCIS’s Adult-Learning approach focuses on developing training content that is comprised of different media, differing delivery methods and includes kinesthetic, auditory and visual elements. More importantly, EMCIS recognizes that training can be dull, and forcing someone to sit through eight or more hours of lecture is nothing short of torture even when broken up with practical hands-on exercises. As a result, EMCIS training endeavors to incorporate as much gamification and “fun” into the process without sacrificing the importance of the message. It’s fun, not funny. 

Some examples of our training games are Mineopoly (aka Monopoly), You Blew Up My Haul Truck (aka Battleship), Jenga, Jeopardy and 4 squares.  Games are typically played in teams, and require participants to collaborate and call upon both current and past training to answer pertinent questions related to mine hazards including Health Hazards, Ventilation, Explosive Safety, Ground Control, Hazard Communication, Electrical Safety and others.  EMCIS also introduce interactive exercises into presentations to get more proactive participation from the trainees.  Some of these include: 

  • Fatalgram Teachbacks - analyzing fatal accidents to determine cause and prevention, 
  • Group Exercises - applying what they have learned to their job, 
  • Communication Exercises - showing how important close listening is and following instructions, 
  • Hazard Cards - recognizing and ranking hazards by their potential severity, 
  • NIOSH Challenge - modified NIOSH presentation for use in classroom for hazard recognition, and 
  • Modified Harry’s Hard Choices – helping trainees understand the consequences of their choices in an emergency.

This presentation will provide examples of each and the results of evaluations shared to show the effectiveness of these techniques in Annual Refresher Training.