LATROBE, Pa., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Employees at four AMFIRE Mining Co. operations, who worked more than 95,000 hours without a lost workday injury in 2006, were awarded Certificates of Achievement in Safety by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration in its annual Sentinels of Safety awards program.
AMFIRE Mining is a subsidiary of Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:ANR), a leading supplier of high-quality Appalachian coal.
Employees at the Armstrong County surface mine (Davis Pit) near Adrian, Pa., were recognized for recording 31,526 employee work hours in 2006 without a fatal injury or an injury that resulted in lost workdays. The Cambria Pit surface mine (South Fork II pit) near South Fork, Pa., was recognized for working 14,240 employee hours without lost workday injuries, and employees at the Somerset County surface mine (Grove Pit) near Acosta, Pa., received the safety award for 34,047 work hours.
Employees at the now closed Triple K #1 mine, an underground mine near Ford City, Pa., received the award for working 15,685 employee hours without lost workday injuries.
"All these employees deserve the recognition this safety award brings," said Jim Pablic, director of safety for AMFIRE. "And the employees of Triple K merit special mention because they were working in very difficult-to-mine reserves in the last days of mining at this operation, and they managed to complete the mining cycle without injuries."
"Recognition by the Sentinels of Safety program is the most prestigious national award a mining operation can achieve. The employees of these mines exemplify what we try to implant throughout AMFIRE, that safety is a value to be instilled in everything we do, both on and off the job," said Pete Merritts, President of AMFIRE.
Two other AMFIRE operations also received safety recognition for having zero lost workday injuries in the third quarter of 2007.
The Allegheny Valley District Council of the Holmes Safety Association recognized AMFIRE's Nolo underground mine employees, who worked 53,792 employee hours without a lost-time injury in the third quarter. The Clymer preparation plant also was recognized for working 6,088 hours in the third quarter with zero lost-time injuries. Both facilities ranked first in their operation category for the quarter.
"Our goal is to be one of the safest coal mining companies in America, and a company people would therefore want to work for," said Randy McMillion, vice president of operations for Alpha Natural Resources. "Our success depends on the observations and safe practices of our own people, who watch out for one another."
McMillion said Alpha was among the first mining companies to implement a behavior based safety program "that empowers our employees to guide and drive our safety process."
AMFIRE's Pablic said he thinks the safety leadership training at the operations is responsible for the latest recognition. "One employee recently gave us feedback on our safety training by commenting: 'I find myself using safety practices not only at work, but at home and in every day use.'"
"Our employees have accepted this challenge to lead the safety training with enthusiasm and vigor," said McMillion. "These safety awards are truly a reflection of the efforts of the most valuable employees of this company: our coal miners."
Source: Alpha Natural Resources, Inc.