Coal producers welcome new National Mining Assn. safety program

A couple of top U.S. coal producers, Peabody Energy (NYSE:BTU) and Arch Coal (NYSE:ACI), on April 2 announced their participation in CORESafety, a new safety and health management system developed by member companies of the National Mining Association (NMA). 

CORESafety is the result of nearly two years of collaboration among NMA member company safety experts to achieve an industry goal established in 2010 by a task force of CEOs from America’s leading mining firms to eliminate fatalities and reduce the rate of mining injuries by 50% within five years. The NMA Board of Directors is chaired by Peabody Energy Chairman and CEO Gregory Boyce.

“The launch of CORESafety is a milestone for the U.S. mining industry,” said Boyce. “Companies employing more than 100,000 Americans have come together to share world-class safety practices and resources. We have collaborated to design a system that provides a pathway for achieving breakthrough performance in safety by our industry and serves as a model both in the United States and globally. I am proud to chair the NMA Board as we advance safety as a core value, a foundation of operational excellence and a way of life.”

CORESafety is a mining-specific system built from the most effective safety and health workplace practices worldwide. It uniquely incorporates leadership and cultural enhancement to instill a proactive approach toward risk assessment and management, Peabody noted. The system is adaptable to the operations of all mining companies and designed to complement existing safety practices.

Peabody said that it has achieved four consecutive years of record safety results. Peabody delivered its best global safety performance in 2011 with an incidence rate of 1.92 per 200,000 work hours, marking a 29% improvement over the prior year. The company is only in the beginning stages of implementing CORESafety. St. Louis-based Peabody is the world’s largest private-sector coal company with 2011 sales of 251 million tons.

Arch Coal Chairman and CEO Steven Leer also announced his full support of CORESafety. A CEO-level task force of the NMA’s Board of Directors led the effort. The task force relied on a working group of mining safety professionals from NMA’s membership, including Arch Coal. Currently chaired by Leer, the CEO task force and the safety professionals collaborated for nearly two years to develop CORESafety.

“CORESafety is adaptable to all mining operations,” said Leer. “By following a comprehensive safety philosophy, we believe it is possible for the U.S. mining industry to eliminate fatalities and reduce the rate of mine-related injuries by 50 percent in the next five years.”

St. Louis-based Arch said it is a proven safety leader among its peer group and continues to make improvements year after year. In 2011, Arch said it led the U.S. coal industry in safety performance and environmental compliance among large, diversified producers. Also in 2011, Arch acquired International Coal Group, spreading its safety program over more operations in Appalachia and Illinois. Arch is a top five global coal producer and marketer, with 155 million tons of coal sold in 2011.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.