NMA kicks off 'Stay Away, Stay Alive'

THE US National Mining Association, piggybacking on a renewed interest by the industry to increase “red zone” safety, introduced a new initiative this week to raise awareness of continuous miner proximity in underground coal operations.

Donna Schmidt

In its introduction of “Stay Away, Stay Alive”, NMA president Hal Quinn and Alliance Natural Resources Partners president Joe Craft said the program was intended to help reduce both accidents and deaths related to unsafe activities taking place near CMs.

The group hopes the program can be used as part of ongoing efforts by mines to improve worker health and safety.

“NMA and its member company safety professionals developed these safety training and awareness materials based on analyses of actual accident reports,” said Quinn, who added that the materials in the program include highlights of specific activities to avoid.

“This innovative program is a first step and lays the groundwork for the next generation of underground mining technology that will be used to detect unsafe proximity to mining equipment."

The NMA pointed out that the program, tailored to the underground coal community from data on past incidents, is voluntary for mines.

Craft, who leads the association’s safety, health and human resources committee, expressed the group’s interest in helping operations to be proactive.

The materials will be made available to all of the NMA member companies’ safety directors as well as all US underground complexes.

“This initiative is part of our industry’s larger efforts that have helped to make 2008 a record-breaking year for safety in US coal and minerals mines," said Quinn.

“Together with our industry’s sharply higher investments in mine safety techniques and technologies, we believe the ‘Stay Away, Stay Alive’ campaign can help us achieve continuous improvements in mine safety in the years ahead.”

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