Home resume expert witness links contact

Resume - Cosme F. Gutierrez [click here for printable resume.pdf]

851 Angelina Lane | Belen, NM 87002

Mine Safety and Health Consulting Expert
Inspector, Consultant, Expert Witness, Speaker, Bilingual


Mine safety and health consulting expert Cosme F. Gutierrez has dedicated most of his life to preventing serious mining injuries, mine fatalities, and mining disasters. He has accumulated a wealth of mining knowledge over 40 years' experience in the mining field.

Cosme is a graduate of Western New Mexico University - metal/nonmetal mining safety, West Virginia Mining Academy, and Coal Safety Mining, Beckley WV Mine Academy.

During his tenure at MSHA in 1978, he served as a national mine rescue team member and assisted in recovering bodies of miners from a methane explosion in the Belle Isle, Morten Salt Mine in LA. (Noteworthy: this was a disaster that could have been prevented.)

He made a pledge to dedicate his life to doing whatever he could to prevent disasters like Belle Isle from ever happening again. He further pledges to help miners, mining families, and any relatives by defending these families in court or any necessary proceedings by appearing as an expert witness.


Diligent and honest Mine Inspector with a long profession in Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). Capable of providing consulting and expert witness services to attorneys, companies, labor unions, affected families, and organizations involving the health and safety of miners in underground, surface coal and/or metal-nonmetal mines, as well as mills and underground mineral processing facilities on both a local and national basis. Proven record in providing consulting services regarding surface and underground mine environmental problems related to monitoring waste water, underground and surface water systems, mine waste and tailing dam areas, surface drainage control facilities, as well as stability to refuse dams and sediment ponds.

Experienced in providing the application of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977, Public Law 91-173 as amended by Public Law 95-164 to clients needing advice and knowledge of the (CFR-30) Code of Federal Regulations and industry standards related to mine workers' health and safety. Experienced in providing services regarding the (SMCRA) Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act.

Over 30 years experience involving litigation in cases with mine fires, massive roof falls, fatal accidents, and mine inundations, etc., with expertise in serving as an expert witness in litigation relating to the Mine Safety and Health Act and (30-CFR) Code of Federal Regulations. My background includes: surface and underground methane explosions, methane fires, coal dust fires, (roof, rib and floor) pressure bounces, gob seals, surface and underground haulage accidents, roof and rib controls, exposure of workers to hazardous chemicals, tailing dam areas, mine dust exposure, dumping sites, explosives, explosions, surface and underground transportation, crushers and processing plants, as well as an overall general knowledge of most all mining environmental-related activities. Extensive knowledge of mining and mine environments as well as health/safety and environmental regulations.

Experienced in conducting investigations of fatal accidents, mining accidents, underground and surface mine fires, massive roof falls, massive outburst or bounces, mine inundations, structure collapses, etc. Detailed in writing reports on root cause of accidents and in recommending steps for improvement on mine operations. Recognized and selected as an International Interpreter for the Peruvian Mine Rescue Team and International Mine Rescue Contest in Reno, NV. Major duties were to interpret mine rescue and first-aid regulations as well as translating the information from English to Spanish and vice versa between the Peruvian and Mine Safety and Health Administration administrators, other international teams, national teams, as well as the general public.

Selected to travel to the Beckley Training Academy in West Virginia and completed training classes. Attended Peruvian's classes and translated the information provided by the instructor while interpreting questions. Promoted the Stay-Out/Stay-Alive program in educational institutions in New Mexico. As a spokesman, explained the associative hazards to students, provided meaningful examples for the various age groups of students, addressed and consulted with principals, counselors, teachers and various educational staff on the dangers of abandoned mines. Held detailed discussion encounters with students in group sessions.

Assigned to assist the training and served as an interpreter for the South American Mine Rescue Team in Missouri to prepare them for the International Rescue Competition in Las Vegas, NV. Led the South American and Mexican Mine Rescue Teams while competing in the International Coal Mine Rescue Competition in Louisville, KY. Other hands-on positions held were in coordinating and implementing mine rescue as well as first aid contests. Also served in the following roles: Chairman of Judges, Field Judge, First Aid Judge, Scorecard Examiner, and Bench-man in contests in UT, CO, WV, KY and other regional and national contests.


Mine Safety and Health Administration
Federal Mine Inspector

Albuquerque, NM 87012
July 1996 - Present

  • Inspect small surface mines to large complex surface mines and small underground mines to mid-level to large complex mines, where the main difference is the regulation standards in the CFR-30 Code of Federal Regulations between two agencies. Prioritize underground mines and metal non-metal mines.
  • Participate in the Surface Haulage Reduction Program (SHARP), implement innovative strategies in effectively educating and influencing individuals in the mining industry regarding the rising number of haulage accidents while fostering measures to reduce the frequency of accidents.
  • Conduct safety regulation seminars throughout the states of NM, CO, CA and WV after finishing trainings.
  • Present to various groups throughout NM, by utilizing expert knowledge in topics covered in trainings, such as: large surface truck safety, mobile crane safety, track and rubber tires, dozer safety, front-end loader safety, conveyor belt safety, haulage roadway safety issues, brake system safety issues for mobile equipment and haulage equipment pre-operators operation exams.
  • Received considerable training related to haulage and accident matters from various agencies in the USA.

Mine Safety and Health Administration
Federal Coal Mine - Roof Control Specialist

Delta, CO 81486
June 1984 - July 1996

  • Investigated the Oxbow Sanborn Creek Mine accident, which was a massive outburst or bounce of coal that allowed the down-dip of the side of the barrier pillars - resulting in injury to a section foreman.
  • Took appropriate enforcement action to secure the mine. Prior to this bounce, there were numerous bounces therefore minimal enforcement was done. Took action resulting in the approval of a pillar extraction plan, which had been rejected previously. Rewrote action plans, providing for safer mining.
  • Selected as one of the inspectors in a team of MSHA inspectors from Coal District 10 in CO, to assist in an effort to put out a raging underground long-wall gob methane fire at the Mid-Continent Resources Underground mine in Glenwood Springs, CO. Brought in professional methane fire experts.
  • Selected to fill the newly created position of Roof Control Specialist in Delta, CO, which was under Coal District 10. Chosen to provide category-specific inspections and to expedite the inspection and approval/denial time for Roof Control Plans. Served to redistribute a segment of the workload from the District Office to the field office, enabling inspectors to provide mine operators more prompt attention regarding the individual Roof Control Plans - resulting in firsthand information on an expedited basis.
  • Reviewed and evaluated Roof Control Plans to determine if they met required standards and to approve or reject the plans based upon the analysis. This required an extended effort to keep abreast of ever-changing roof support control technology and maintaining a comprehensive knowledge of equipment applications, capabilities, and changes relative to essential information affecting miners.
  • Studied the Roof Control Plans submitted to the District Office by mining operations for approval. Reviewed plans thoroughly looking for code deficiencies. Identified discrepancies as well as safety issues.
  • Conducted site inspections to discuss findings and observations with company officials, engineers, miners, and labor organization representatives to insure that plans could be implemented appropriately - assisting all parties involved in modifying narrative segment of the plan to address deficiencies.
  • Approved and implemented plans initiated while conducting follow-up on unforeseen ground conditions requiring the implementation plan to be revised. Assured noncompliance issues, such as: inadequate use of roof control materials, improper use of roof control materials, and safety violations not accruing.
  • Worked and welcomed opportunities to participate as a leader and critical element of MSHA's mission.
  • Received favorable Performance Activity Appraisals - identifying work output as "Highly Effective."

Mine Safety and Health Administration
Federal Coal Mine - Safety and Health Inspector

Logan, WV, 25637
June 1981 - July 1984

  • Was reassigned to Logan, WV as a Coal Mine Safety and Health Inspector. Underwent an intensive training program as a Coal Mine Inspector Trainee at the National Mine Safety and Health Academy. Addressed educational instruction in the field (accompanied and assisted a senior inspector.)
  • Participated in team efforts to prepare reports on findings. Conducted research on questions asked by mining industry representatives for which answers or solutions were not immediately available in the offices. Helped organize published reports and testified at many Health and Safety Conferences.
  • Assigned to inspect coal mines and open pit mining operations in Logan, Mingo, Wyoming and Lincoln counties.
  • Called to inspect some of the most difficult and gaseous mines in District 4. Conducted inspections of high voltage continuous mining machines, which developed and extracted full pillar sections, shafts, and drifts.
  • Conducted regular 103(i) spot inspections, Sec105(a) procedures for enforcement; Sec 110(a) taught operators about penalties, Sec 202(a) dust standards, Sec 203(a) medical examinations, Sec 205 quartz dust standards; Sec 206 noise standards, Sec 302(a) roof support controls, Sec 303(a) ventilation controls, Sec 305(a) general electric equipment; Sec 311(a) fire protection, Sec 313(a) blasting and explosives, Sec 315 emergency shelters, and Sec 401 black lung general. Investigated waiver requests. Acted on 103(g) complaints and served as a general underground and surface inspector.
  • Reviewed the uniform mine files, including the methane and dust control plans, roof control plans, training plans, waivers, safeguards, citation orders, "d" sequences, air samples and rock dust samples.
  • Scrutinized inspection reports, accident reports, incident rates, and consulted with previous inspectors.
  • Examined pre-shift and on-shift inspection records, personal protective equipment, fire-fighting materials, section/mine escape-ways, conveyor belt lines, seals, abandoned areas intake and return air courses as well as surface areas of underground mines, washer plants, silos, crushers, and dams.
  • Planned and conducted pre-inspection and close-out conferences, informed mine management and UMWA representative of accomplishments, discussed deficiencies, explained the Mine Act Federal Mines Safety and Health Act of 1977, Public Law 91-173 as amended by Public Law 95-164 citations.
  • Reviewed incident rates while promoting open communication and a cooperative effort with representatives.

Mine Safety and Health Administration
Engineering Lab Technician

Coeur d'Alene, ID 83814
June 1980 - July 1981

  • Assisted in conducting regular inspections. Conducted Respirable Dust Technical Inspections and Technical Noise Survey Inspections. Identified areas of each mine more prone to higher contaminate concentrations by reviewing inspection reports, work areas and equipment records, and by consulting with previous inspectors. Initiated enforcement actions requiring abatement of noise and dust.
  • Calibrated dust and noise pumps as well as weight filters - making up cassettes, cleaning cyclones, and completing routine repairs to various equipment and mine gas detectors. Monitored and evaluated the working levels and areas in mines during the inspection process. Audited mine records, raises, shafts, milling plants, high walls, and multi-level open pits. Closely monitored quality and quantity of air.
  • Examined escape-ways, track haulage tunnels, conveyor belt tunnels, abandoned areas of the mine, the intake and exhaust shafts, ventilation system, surface above underground mines, and hoist room.
  • Inspected large haul trucks (50 to 200 ton capacities), draglines, electric shovels (30 to 60 yard capacities), bench heights, track drills, dozers, scrapers, and all types of surface facilities/drilling.
  • Planned and conducted pre-inspection and close-out conferences, while communicating by observations and findings to mine management and UMW and USWA representatives.
  • Stressed accomplishments clearly in documentation to explain and justify any enforcement action taken.

Mine Enforcement and Safety Administration MESA

San Bernardino, CA 92408
July 1976 - June 1980

  • Attended classroom activities sessions for 4 weeks and spent 3-4 weeks in the field under the training and guidance of senior mine inspectors. Was issued a Duly Authorized Representative entry card.
  • Assigned to inspect San Bernardino, Ventura, and San Diego counties within Southern California.
  • Inspected difficult and gassy mines in the district as the resident Inspector in San Bernardino CA.
  • Conducted mine inspections as well as health and technical inspections. Investigated accidents and fatalities, acted on 103(g) complaints, and served as General Underground and Surface inspector.
  • Reviewed uniform mine files, mine locations, size of crews, number of shifts, ground control plans, and training plans. Analyzed inspection reports, accident reports, and incident rates. Consulted with inspectors.
  • Checked for damaged or worn out dust pumps, dosimeters, and detectors. Utilized a microscope to identify quartz, silica, and other noxious materials. Prepared written reports of findings. Discussed reports with mine management and maintained communications with mining personnel and labor reps.
  • Repaired or replaced any damaged parts, filled oxygen bottles, sent out bottles for state pressure tests when required. Prepared sampling of equipment for other inspectors and kept records on all equipment.
  • Duties included safety and health inspections of preparation plants, mills, metallurgy operations, open pit mines, surface mines, and complex underground mines with 5-900 employees.
  • Examined equipment used in the mining operations: bulldozers, drag-lines, electric shovels, (90 yard capacity or larger), front-end loaders, scrapers, backhoes, road graders, Euclid trucks, Terex trucks, etc.
  • Tested main hoists for safety features, such as: brakes, safety dogs, over-speed overrides, retards, etc.
  • Investigated explosion accidents, drowning accidents, suffocation accidents, haulage accidents, etc.
  • Selected to coordinate the implementation of a preventative accident (PAR) program.

American Smelting and Refining Company
Journeyman / Underground Miner

Vanadium, NM 88023
July 1969 - June 1974

  • Loaded ore cars, cleaned track entry and ditches, installed waterlines, and unloaded mine supplies.
  • Assisted the lead miner in drilling and blasting operations - operating slushers, tugger, set square timbers, handled explosives. Set roof bolter, repaired ore chutes, and loaded ore from work area.
  • Operated battery powered locomotives, repaired locomotives, loaded trains, hauled ore in the mine to dumb stations, supervised track maintenance, installed track and switches, and instructed crews on track installation and maintenance. Built level stations, timber raises, and installed ventilation.
  • Insured appropriate equipment was available, repaired slushers, diamond drills, mucking, machine scoops, locomotives, switches, pressure hoses, main fans, water pumps, ventilation lines, and wire rope.
  • Repaired major and minor damage to shaft, installed guides, changed out sheaves, and cleaned MPS.
  • Ordered supplies, drilled, and blasted. Operated set square timbers, handled explosives, set roof bolter, repaired ore chutes, examined work area for safety and productivity, as well as loaded ore from area.
  • Planned, organized, and scheduled work assignments for crews of 7-10 men as needed for shaft maintenance insuring maximum productivity and minimal interference with ongoing mining operations as well as scheduling repairs during non-production shifts and shutdowns when possible.
  • Inspected the hoist and cages, hoist control, dead man switches, overrides, over speeds, safety dogs, guides, level indicators, wire ropes, hoist rooms, brakes, sheaves, and emergency stop switches.
  • Participated in the recovery of several bodies involved in fatal accidents in the mine and assisted in the investigations and writing of reports. Participated in fire inspections with the company insurance staff.
  • Accompanied electrical inspectors to surface and underground operations, and assisted in inspection activities. Conducted or assisted in the investigation of explosions, drowning, and suffocation accidents.


  • Leading Change: Develop and implement an organizational vision that integrates key national and program goals, priorities, values, and other factors. Balance change and continuity to continually strive to improve customer service and program performance within the basic government framework as well as to create a work environment that encourages creative thinking while maintaining focus, intensity, and persistence.
  • Leading People: Design and implement strategies that maximize employee potential and foster high ethical standards in meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals.
  • Results-Driven: Stress the importance of accountability and continuous improvement. This includes the ability to make timely and effective decisions - producing results for strategic planning and the implementation and evaluation of programs and policies.
  • Business Acumen: Acquire and administer human, financial, material, and information resources in a manner that instills public trust and accomplishes the organization's mission. Proven ability to use new technology to enhance decision making.
  • Building Coalitions/Communication: Explain, advocate, and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner and to negotiate with individuals and groups internally and externally. Develop and expand professional network with other organizations and identify the internal and external politics that impact the work.


  • Preventative Accident Reduction (PAR)
  • Compliance Assistance Visits (CAVs), providing Miner Safety in-service training
  • Providing Mine Rescue Team Training
  • MSHA San Bernardino Field Office Representative at 20th Constitutional Convention for the United Steel Workers of America
  • MSHA National Mine Rescue Team Member
  • Interpreter for the Peruvian Mine Rescue Team during the International Mine Rescue Contests
  • National Mine Rescue Team Competition Field Judge, Chairman of Judges, Scorecard Examiner, Ground Crew Timekeeper, Guard, Lifeline, Bench-man, and First Aid Judge
  • Stay Out / Stay Alive Program
  • Served as Interpreter and Aide for Peruvian State Delegation
  • Interpreter for Peruvian Mina Cobriza Representatives and for South American and Mexican Mine Rescue Teams competing in the International Coal Mine Rescue Competition in KY as well as for Peruvian, South American Mine Rescue Team in MO
  • Logistical and Tactical Responsibility for Relocating the Delta Field Office
  • Mine Safety Representative at MESA training in UT
  • Vice President, United Steel Workers of America (AFL-CIO)


National Mine Academy, Beckley, WV
Coal Mine Inspector 1982
Metal Non-Metal Mine Inspector 1978

Western New Mexico University, Silver City NM 1974
Major: Business Administration
Minor: Psychology/Sociology

Please feel free to contact Mr. Cosme F. Gutierrez to discuss details regarding any of his services.


Cosme Investigating
Cosme Investigating

Mine Lights
Mine Lights

NMHSA Academy
NMHSA Academy

home       resume       expert witness       links       contact
Cosme F. Gutierrez | 851 Angelina Lane | Belen, NM 87002
505-417-2681 |
Website design by
Cyberfirms Web Development