Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down

UPPER Big Branch mine owner Massey Energy will remember the 29 workers killed in last year’s explosion with a suspension of production across all of its mines in a safety stand-down Tuesday.
Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down Massey marks UBB anniversary with safety stand-down

The Upper Big Branch mine.

Donna Schmidt

“In honor of the beloved miners that we lost in last year’s accident, Massey Energy will idle production and hold a safety stand-down at our 92 underground coal producing sections on April 5, 2011,” the company said Monday morning.

“In addition, Massey will conduct a company-wide, one minute and 29-second moment of silence at 3.02pm (local time) to pay tribute to the 29 miners who died in the UBB explosion.”

April 5 is the one-year anniversary of the blast at the UBB mine in Montcoal, Raleigh County, West Virginia. Internal, state, federal and criminal investigations into the incident are all still ongoing.

“Massey Energy continues to extend our sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathies to those families and communities who lost loved ones in this tragic accident,” the producer said.

“The company remains fully committed to a thorough and comprehensive investigation that seeks to identify the primary causes of the explosion and provide answers to the UBB families and the communities we serve in central Appalachia.”

Massey held another safety stand-down last October, which it said was to reinforce the importance of safety over production at its operations.

The company held site-specific training at its mines and reviewed past violations to determine best practices to help eliminate future violations.

Massey’s mines are located in West Virginia, Kentucky and Virginia, and are mostly longwall and room and pillar operations.

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