Coal Industry Launches Mine Safety Effort

Washington, DC (CompNewsNetwork) – National Mining Association (NMA) President and CEO Hal Quinn and Alliance Resources Partners President and CEO Joe Craft made the following remarks today as NMA launched a new safety initiative to raise awareness and provide training tools aimed at reducing unsafe activity in proximity to continuous mining machinery used in underground coal mining:

"As part of the mining community's on-going effort to further improve health and safety at the nation's underground coal mines through greater safety awareness, improved training and advanced technology, NMA is launching a new 'Stay Away, Stay Alive' safety initiative aimed at reducing accidents and fatalities associated with unsafe activity in proximity to continuous miner machinery," said Quinn.

"NMA and its member company safety professionals developed these safety training and awareness materials based on analyses of actual accident reports. The materials highlight specific actions that should be avoided. This innovative program is a first step and lays the groundwork for the next generation of underground mining technology that will be used to detect unsafe proximity to mining equipment," Quinn added.

"This is a voluntary awareness program specifically tailored to a safety need our industry has identified," said Alliance CEO Craft, who also chairs NMA's Safety, Health & Human Resources Committee. "Our goal at NMA is to continue to be proactive going forward."

"We are providing these materials to the safety directors at NMA member companies and making them available to all U.S. underground coal mining companies as part of our commitment to bring every miner home safely at the end of every shift," said Quinn. "NMA is grateful for the participation of its safety committee members, including equipment manufacturers, underground coal mine operators and safety professionals, and the generous assistance of BHP Billiton's New Mexico Coal's video materials that are part of this effort."

"This initiative is part of our industry's larger efforts that have helped to make 2008 a record-breaking year for safety in U.S. coal and minerals mines," said Quinn. "Together with our industry's sharply higher investments in mine safety techniques and technologies, we believe the 'Stay Away, Stay Alive' campaign can help us achieve continuous improvements in mine safety in the years ahead," he said.

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