ST. LOUIS, Oct. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE: ACI) today announced that employees of Canyon Fuel Company's Sufco mine and Powell Mountain Energy's preparation plant achieved the nation's best 2010 safety records in their respective categories, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The prestigious Sentinels of Safety awards were presented at a banquet today in Washington, D.C. "The companies being recognized today understand the importance of having effective safety and health programs in place and diligently implementing those programs every day," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "They also demonstrate to the rest of the industry that it is possible to take responsibility for mine safety and health and run mining operations safely every day of the year."
The Sufco mine is located near Salina, Utah, and its underground operation utilizes longwall and continuous mining systems. In 2010, Sufco employees worked 797,517 continuous hours with a lost-time incident rate of zero compared to the national underground average of 3.72 incidents per 200,000 employee-hours worked.
The former Powell Mountain preparation plant in Lee County, Va., operated for three years without a single reportable safety incident. The plant was idled recently to achieve operating synergies with Arch's Lone Mountain Processing, Inc. located in Lee County, Va., and Harlan County, Ky.
"These top accolades from the U.S. Department of the Interior today were hard earned by our dedicated employees," said Arch's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer. "It is with great pride that I congratulate the employees of Sufco mine and Powell Mountain's prep plant for leading their peers in safety excellence."
The Sentinels of Safety awards program is cosponsored by MSHA and the National Mining Association. Sentinels of Safety award recipients represent mining operations that have worked the most employee hours in each category without a lost-time incident. Six award winners are chosen from large and small operations in three category types, with a minimum of 4,000 hours logged without a lost-time incident.
The awards were initiated in 1925 by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover and remain the nation's most prestigious awards. More information on the Sentinels of Safety awards and categories is posted at www.msha.gov.
In 2010, Arch set new company records in safety performance, environmental compliance and revenue generation. In 2010, Arch's lost-time safety incident rate of 0.46 was the company's best yet, and less than one-fifth the industry average of 2.52 incidents per 200,000 employee-hours. In the past 10 years, Arch subsidiary operations have earned a total of five Sentinels of Safety awards.
U.S.-based Arch Coal is a top five global coal producer and marketer, with 179 million tons of coal sold pro forma in 2010. Arch is the most diversified American coal company, with mining complexes across every major U.S. coal supply basin. Arch's core business is supplying cleaner-burning, low-sulfur thermal and metallurgical coal to power generators and steel manufacturers on four continents.
SOURCE Arch Coal, Inc.