United States� safest

RAG Coal West and Powell Mountian Coal have been labelled the safest underground and surface operations in the USA.

Angie Tomlinson

Eight mining operations were honored for their outstanding safety records during 2002 in the annual Sentinels of Safety awards program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association (NMA).

In the underground sector Creech #1 Mine in West Virginia was the overall winner, followed by runner-ups Roaring Fork No. 3 Mine, Dickenson-Russell Coal Company; Meigs #2 Mine, Southern Ohio Coal Company; VICC No. 7 Mine, Paramont Coal Company; and Deep Mine #26, Paramont Coal Company Virginia.

In the surface category RAG’s Eagle Butte Mine in Wyoming took top spot, followed by runner-ups South Hallsville No. 1 Mine, The Sabine Mining Company; Buckskin Mine, Triton Coal Company; San Miguel Lignite Mine, The North American Coal Corporation; and Coal Mac #68 Surface Mine, Phoenix Coal Mac Mining.

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-time injury or fatality.

The Sentinels of Safety award is considered the most prestigious award in the mining industry - as well as the oldest established award for occupational safety.