Twelve honored as Kentucky's safest

THE KENTUCKY Department for Natural Resources has again handed out a dozen Safest Mine Awards to surface and underground coal mines in each of its six districts to recognise outstanding achievements during the past calendar year.

Donna Schmidt

The honors, which are decided by nomination, were handed out October 25 at the Kentucky Coal Associations annual meeting in Lexington and made public late Tuesday.

In the Barbourville district, Bell County Coal’s Garmeada No. 2 mine earned the award in the underground category. Its 64 miners produced 216,955 tons of coal with one lost-time accident.

On the surface side, ICG Hazard’s Thunder Ridge-Job 0122 was the winner; 72 employees there produced 551,557t with no lost-time accidents.

In the Harlan district, the underground honor went to Harlan Cumberland Coal’s K3 mine, where 23 miners produced 86,588t with no lost-time accidents, and the surface winner was Fox Knob Coal’s Highwall Miner 64, where 10 employees produced 55,728t without a single lost-time accident.

Taking home awards in the Madisonville district were Sebree Mining’s Onton No. 9 mine in the underground division and Western Kentucky Minerals’ Joe’s Run mine in the surface division.

Onton’s 311 employees produced an average of 13,200t daily with three lost-time accidents, while Joe’s Run produced an average of 1,200t daily for 918 days with 27 workers, none of whom had a lost-time accident.

In the Martin district, Eagle Coal’s Mine No. 25 was the underground winner; its 48 employees produced 210,985t while marking two lost-time accidents. Its surface honoree was Licking River Mining’s Craft Creek operation, where 42 employees produced 381,230t lost-time accident free.

Enterprise Mining was the underground award winner in the Hazard District. The company’s 200-worker 9A mine produced 755,947t with two lost-time incidents over 2012.

Hazard’s surface selection was James River Coal Service’s Buckeye mine. In 2012, its

55 employees produced 249,977t.

The crew at Buckeye, according to DNR, has had no lost-time accidents since the operation began in January 2006.

Finally, in the Pikeville district, the underground honors went to Sidney Coal, doing business as M3 Energy Mining, for its Mine No 1. The 46 employees at the operation produced an average 1,500t per production shift, and have gone 382 days without a lost-time accident.

In the surface division, Premier Elkhorn Coal’s Job No. 42 earned the award for 2012. Forty employees there produced a daily average of 3,600t accident-free last year.

“Our mine safety analysts and inspectors have made mine safety a priority and the results are evident by these outcomes,” OMSL director Franklin Reed said.

“Mine safety begins with each individual miner, mine foreman and operator.

“We can continue these excellent results across all mines if everyone pays attention and practices mine safety.”