Massey gives credit where credit is due

INDUSTRY giant Massey Energy awarded its best performing mines with awards as part of an annual ceremony held in Charleston, West Virginia, this week.

Donna Schmidt

The company bestowed its Bradbury Safety award as well as several mine safety awards, including the Stan Suboleski Mine of the Year and Best in Class titles, at the 12th annual Raymond A Bradbury Awards Banquet on Tuesday evening. “It was another record performance,” said company chief Don Blankenship.

This year’s Bradbury, an honour given to Massey’s safest mining operation, went to Martin County Coal, a 155-worker subsidiary located in Martin County, Kentucky. The mine had a total of more than 460,000 hours worked in 2005 without one lost-time accident. Bradbury finalists included Endurance, Green Valley Nicholas and Progress.

Massey’s Best in Class awards were given to the safest of its preparation plants and trucking operations as well as underground, surface and highwall operations. The company noted that many of its operations qualified by not having any lost time or restricted duty accidents last year.

Best in Class awards for 2005 went to:

Preparation plants: Delbarton Mining Company (Delbarton plant)

Underground mines: Green Valley Coal Company (White Buck No. 2)

Surface mines: Logan County Mine Services (South Surface Mine)

Highwall mines: Logan County Mine Services (North Surface Highwall)

Trucking: Martin County Coal Corporation (Martin County Trucking

The company’s Stan Suboleski Award, given to a mine that achieves or exceeds production goals while remaining incident-free throughout the year, was bestowed to its Progress division’s Twilight surface operation.

At the event, Massey also wanted to recognise mine safety teams that had responded to its Alma fire that claimed two lives on January 19, 2006. Its Eastern Kentucky team and Southern West Virginia team, it said, were present at the site, but the company invited the following to the evening’s ceremony to be recognised:

Pinnacle Mining: Blue Mine Rescue Team

Consol: Buchanan Mine Rescue Team

Consol: Corporate Coordination Team

Consol of Kentucky: Mine Rescue Team

Excel: Kentucky

Excel: Illinois Mine Rescue Teams

Peabody: Federal No. 2 Mine Rescue Team

Pinnacle: Gray Mine Rescue Team

Burge Spillman: Mountaineer No. 1 Mine Rescue Team

Burge Spillman: Mountaineer No. 2 Mine Rescue Team

Pocahontas Mine Rescue Team

Foundation Coal: Riverton Mine Rescue Team

Peabody: Eastern Mining Southern Appalachia Mine Rescue Team

Charlie Justice: Southern Coalfield Association Mine Rescue Team

Consol Energy: VP-8 Mine Rescue Team

Several other teams were recognised although they could not be present the evening of March 7:

Arch: Mountaineer Mine Rescue

Cumberland Mine Rescue Team

Emerald Mine Rescue Team

Jewell Smokeless No. 1 Mine Rescue Team

Jewell Smokeless No. 2 Mine Rescue Team

Lone Mountain Mine Rescue Team

MSHA Mine Emergency Unit

State of WV Mine Emergency Response Team

“The efforts of these teams were heroic and words cannot express our appreciation for them,” said company senior vice-president Chris Adkins.

“They proved what we all know: the coal industry is an extended family that cares about the safety of every miner.”

Blankenship noted some items during the evening that he felt beneficial for the industry to implement, including canopies for personnel carriers, deflectors for roof bolters, safety upgrades for continuous miners and more reflective material for miners’ clothing.

The ceremony is held annually to honour those who “reflect Massey’s commitment to building mining’s premier safety culture,” the company said.