Massey highwall earns safety honor

MASSEY Energy’s Republic highwall mining operation in southern West Virginia recently reached a safety milestone, recording over one year without a single lost-time accident.
Massey highwall earns safety honor Massey highwall earns safety honor Massey highwall earns safety honor Massey highwall earns safety honor Massey highwall earns safety honor

Courtesy Massey Energy.

Donna Schmidt

The crew of the operation, located in Raleigh and Fayette counties, worked lost-time accident-free for more than 36,000 hours, during which time they mined 175,000 tons of coal.

“The Republic highwall miner members exemplify Massey’s Safety is Job One culture,” company chairman Don Blankenship said.

Last year, Massey achieved its safest year ever, posting a non-fatal days lost incidence rate of 2.33, beating the industry average of 2.77.

Last week, the producer idled its 92 underground producing sections to reinforce the importance of safety over production at its operations.

On October 29, the company planned site-specific training at the mines to reiterate to its crews that it expects them to follow the law. Operations will also review past violations and examine best practices to eliminate future violations.

“Despite considerable training, there have been recent instances where our miners were not doing the right thing as they had been trained to do,” Blankenship said earlier this month.

“The idling of production reinforces our philosophy that safety is first and production is second.”

Massey is currently in the center of a civil investigation by federal authorities regarding the Upper Big Branch explosion in April that killed 29 workers. Blankenship has been accused by some of putting production before worker safety.

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