The two-week classroom instruction at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy in Beaver, W.Va., covers topics such as using proper interview techniques to conduct thorough investigations, the use of injunctive relief in federal district courts, evaluating evidence, reviewing knowing and willful violations, and processing discrimination complaints.

In order that MSHA investigators understand how to appropriately control accident sites, agents from the FBI’s Evidence Response Unit are instructing them on how to approach an accident scene, photograph the scene, obtain and secure evidence, deal with false or altered records, and release the scene. Attorneys with the department’s Office of the Solicitor are presenting on civil and criminal aspects of investigations, specifically addressing evidence needed for successful prosecutions. Representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice are assisting MSHA presenters with lectures on subjects including how to prepare cases for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, evaluate cases for criminal referral, serve as expert advisers and witnesses, and understand the responsibilities of a grand jury.