Mining Operations Recognized for Safety Records

Eight mining operations in Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming have been honored for their outstanding safety records.

Eight mining operations in Illinois, Louisiana, Nevada, Texas, Virginia and Wyoming have been honored for their outstanding safety records in the annual Sentinels of Safety award programs sponsored by the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association.

For the 75th consecutive year, mining companies in various operational categories were recognized for achieving the greatest number of employee work-hours in 2000 without an injury that resulted in lost workdays.

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-time injury or fatality.

"I am extremely pleased for each of the winning operations, and pleased for the mining community at large," said MSHA Administrator Dave Lauriski. "The workers at these mines can -- and should -- be justifiably proud of their accomplishments, for they have made safety a value in their jobs. They are living proof that abiding by safety and health standards saves lives, prevents injuries and improves productivity."

An additional 32 mining operations in 18 states were recognized for their exceptional safety records.

Considered the most prestigious award in the mining industry -- as well as the oldest established award for occupational safety -- the Sentinels of Safety competition was created in 1925 by then-Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover.

A former mining engineer, Hoover realized the critical need for improving mine safety at a time when thousands of miners were injured or killed in job-related accidents each year. The award has continued uninterrupted to this day.

The first place winners and their number of consecutive employee-hours recorded in each of the sponsored mining categories are as follows:

Underground Coal Group

Deep Mine #21, Paramount Coal Corp., Dante, Va., 151,753 hours

Surface Coal Group

Antelope Coal Mine, Antelope Coal Co., Gillette, Wyo., 394,735 hours

Underground Metal Group

SSX Mine, AngloGold (Jerritt Canyon) Corp., Elko, Nev., 174,766 hours

Underground Nonmetal Group

Cote Blanche Mine, IMC Salt Inc., Franklin, La., 284,932 hours

Open Pit Group

Rochester Mine, Coeur Rochester Inc., Lovelock, Nev., 254,296 hours

Quarry Group

Thornton Quarry, Material Service Corp., Thornton, Ill., 208,816 hours

Bank or Pit Group

Arena Plant, Hanson Aggregates South Central, Altair, Texas, 133,766 hours

Dredge Group

Briggs Plant, Fordyce Co., Victoria, Texas, 241,195 hours

by Virginia Foran

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