Search Results Archives: March 2011

March 31, 2011

MSHA Director Calls for Tighter Mine Regulations

Joe Main says congress can do more to improve mine safety. 

WASHINGTON —  The head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration says his office has made great strides to improve mine safety … but more is needed from lawmakers.

MSHA Director Joe Main was one of several called to Capitol Hill Thursday to update the U-S senate on mine safety progress. Main listed a number of improvements in the system, including targeting mines with poor compliance, issuing emergency standards and imposing injunctive authority to stop hazardous mining.        

Main asked lawmakers to pass stricter laws to keep mine injuries and deaths to a minimum.
         
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., was supposed to attend the hearing, but had to cancel is address to the Senate. He sent a statement echoing Main’s words.
         
“While these are important and necessary improvements, they are only incremental,” Rockefeller wrote. “There is much more we can and should do today to improve mine safety, increase accountability, make our enforcement more efficient, and protect miners who speak out about unsafe conditions.
 
Thursday’s update to the senate committee comes nearly one year after 29 men were killed in the Upper Big Branch mine disaster.
         
Copyright 2011 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. 

March 24, 2011

Arch Coal’s West Elk Mine Earns Three Colorado Awards for Safety and Environmental Responsibility

SOMERSET, Colo., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced that Mountain Coal Company’s West Elk mine employees were honored with a Colorado state safety award and two state environmental awards at the 113th National Western Mining Conference and Exhibition in Denver.

“West Elk turned out an outstanding 2010 performance, and garnered three statewide awards as a result,” said John W. Eaves, Arch’s president and chief operating officer.  “We commend West Elk’s employees for their significant accomplishments, which underscore their dedication to excellence and continuous improvement in safety and environmental performance.”

March 17, 2011

Peabody Energy’s Twentymile Mine Earns Statewide Safety Honors From Colorado Mining Association

ST. LOUIS, March 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Peabody Energy today announced that its Twentymile Mine in Colorado has earned the Top Safety Innovation Award from the Colorado Mining Association for a device that makes moving longwall equipment safer and more efficient at the underground mine.

The award is given annually to recognize an innovation that leads to improved safety performance of Colorado miners. With a brief investment of materials and time, the Twentymile longwall crew invented and assembled a staple-lock tool that uses hydraulics to remove portions of each longwall panel, minimizing incident risk. The association also recognized members of the mine’s workforce for significant safety achievements.

March 9, 2011

International Best Practices and Mine Safety Technologies to be Featured at Wheeling Jesuit University Symposium

International Practices/Recent Experiences and Emergency safety technologies will be among the topics discussed at Wheeling Jesuit University’s 4th Annual International Mining Health & Safety Symposium.

Other issues to be discussed include:

—  Mine Disaster Response (mine rescue notification & coordination, incident command center, mine rescue teams, rescue equipment, communications, lighting/visualization equipment, gas detection & monitoring, robotics)

—  Overlaying Resource Extraction – Coal, Oil & Gas: Implications, Mine Safety & Mining Development

The Symposium will be held:

April 7-8, 2011
Charleston Civic Center
Charleston, WV

To register, click here.

March 3, 2011

MSHA Testifies Before House Workforce Protection Subcommittee

Department of Labor Assistant Secretary Main called for legislation to provide additional enforcement authority.

In his testimony, the head of MSHA said,

To make MSHA truly effective in cracking down on serial violators who seem indifferent to miners’ health and safety, MSHA needs additional tools that only Congress can provide. We need to change the culture of safety in some parts of the mining industry, so that they are as concerned about the safety of their miners when MSHA is not looking over their shoulders as when MSHA is there – because MSHA cannot be there all the time. The Administration supports legislation that gives MSHA the enforcement tools it needs to ensure that all mine operators live up to their legal and moral responsibility to provide a safe and healthful workplace for all miners.