ST. LOUIS, Sept. 18 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that Cumberland River Coal Company's Band Mill No. 2 mine achieved the nation's best safety record in 2006 among all large underground coal mines in the United States, according to the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA).
The prestigious Sentinels of Safety award will be presented by MSHA and the National Mining Association to mine representatives at a banquet on Sept. 19 in Washington, D.C.
This is the second year in a row that an Arch subsidiary has been honored with the highest national safety award in the large underground mining category. Canyon Fuel Company's Skyline mine near Scofield, Utah, earned the 2005 Sentinels of Safety award on Sept. 21, 2006.
"We're extremely proud of the dedicated employees at Band Mill mine for making safety a core value and exhibiting true leadership in the coal industry," said Arch Coal's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Steven F. Leer. "The employees of Band Mill safely produced nearly 550,000 tons of clean-burning, low-sulfur coal last year to provide our nation with affordable and reliable electricity."
The Band Mill mine is located in Letcher County, Ky., and utilizes continuous mining equipment. Band Mill's employees worked 178,000 hours without a single reportable or lost-time injury -- a rate that is significantly better than the national average of 7.35 total incidents per 200,000 employee-hours worked for underground coal mines.
Arch's subsidiaries achieved an overall 2006 safety rate of 1.23 that was nearly three times better than the industry average of 3.32 lost-time injuries per 200,000 hours worked. For a complete list of Arch's national and state honors, visit http://www.archcoal.com/aboutus/awards.asp.
"We're proud of our industry leading safety record, but we're not satisfied," continued Leer. "This year Cumberland River and Arch's other subsidiaries are targeting at-risk behaviors before accidents occur. We believe continuous improvements in mine safety are absolutely necessary, and engaging in a new way of thinking about working safely will help us achieve our ultimate goal of zero accidents and injuries."
The Sentinels of Safety awards program has been presented annually since 1925 to recognize extremely noteworthy accomplishments in the area of mine health and safety. The Sentinels of Safety awards are presented to U.S. mine operations that have worked the most employee-hours without experiencing a lost-time injury. Visit MSHA's Web site (http://www.msha.gov) for a list of the award categories and current and past recipients.
Arch Coal is one of the nation's largest coal producers. The company's core business is providing U.S. power generators with clean-burning, low-sulfur coal for electric generation. Through its national network of mines, Arch supplies the fuel for approximately 6 percent of the electricity generated in the United States.
Source: Arch Coal, Inc.