The U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), in cooperation with the National Mining Association, has named eight U.S. mining operations as winners of its annual "Sentinels of Safety" award in recognition of their outstanding safety records during 2001. Winning mining operations are from Alabama, Arizona, Nebraska., Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming.
The Black Thunder Mine, Thunder Basin Coal Company, LLC in Wright, Wyoming was the first place winner in the Surface Coal Group with 1,247,939 consecutive employee work hours without an injury that resulted in lost time from work. Black Thunder's number of hours was the most ever logged in the surface coal group award category and this was the mine's first appearance in the top five.
Other regional mines that ranked in the surface coal groups top five included: Kayenta Mine, Peabody Energy, Kayenta, Ariz., 920,846 hours; Jewett Mine, Northwestern Resources Co., Jewett, Ariz., 689,827 hours; Decker Mine, Decker Coal Co., Decker, Mont, 428,111 hours (2nd time in top five); Falkirk Mine, The Falkirk Mining Company, Underwood, N.Dak., 408,706 hours.
Utah's Dugout Canyon Mine, Canyon Fuel Company, LLC in Wellington, placed second in the Underground Coal Group with 134,402 hours while the Kennecott Barneys Canyon Mine, Kennecott Barneys Canyon Mine Co., in Bingham Canyon placed fifth in the Open Pit Group logging 135,854 hours.
"Qualifying to win this award requires an exemplary commitment to safety and health in the workplace," said Dave D. Lauriski, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "The winners all deserve the highest praise for their efforts to work safely each and every day."
Since 1926, mining operations in various operational categories have been recognized for achieving the highest number of employee work-hours without an injury that resulted in lost time from work. To qualify for a Sentinels of Safety award, a company must compile at least 30,000 employee work hours during the year without a lost-tune injury or fatality.
The eight winners were the Deep Mine #30 of Paramont Coal Corp. in Dante, Va.; the Black Thunder Mine of Thunder Basin Coal Co., in Wright, Wyo.; the Young Mine of ASARCO, Inc., in Strawberry Plains, Tenn.; the Weeping Water Mine of Martin Marietta Aggregates in Weeping Water, Neb.; the Phelps Dodge Sierrita, Inc., of Phelps Dodge Mining Co. in Green Valley, Ariz.; the Imerys Gantts Quarry of Imerys Carbonates, LLC in Sylacauga, Ala.; the Arena Plant of Hanson Aggregates South Central in Altair, Tex.; and the Briggs Plant of Fordyce, Ltd. in Victoria, Texas. An additional 32 mining operations in 17 states were also recognized for their exceptional safety record.