Arch Coal’s Tygart Valley Leer complex and Phoenix Coal-Mac’s Holden No. 22 surface mine have taken home the annual Eustace E. Frederick Milestones of Safety Award and the Barton B. Lay Jr. Award, respectively, from the West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA) for outstanding workplace safety performances in 2015.
The operations, along with 36 other mines and service companies, received their honors at the 43rd annual West Virginia Mining Symposium held in Charleston on January 24-25.
Tops in the independent contractor category were Carter Machinery and Walker Machinery.
The Mountaineer Guardian Awards are presented every year to mining companies demonstrating a commitment to safety standards. They are chosen by nominations made by West Virginia Office of Mine Health Safety and Training inspectors.
Also at the symposium, Wolf Run Mining in Barbour County earned the Greenlands Award for outstanding reclamation, along with Coal-Mac’s Phoenix No. 1 surface mine, which was bestowed the Forestry Reclamation Award. The Phoenix No. 4 surface mine claimed the year’s Good Neighbor Award for its work with local communities.
Eleven other companies also were recognized for their environmental commitments.
WVCA officials applauded the companies’ efforts at two luncheons held during the conference, which convened at the Charleston Civic Center.
“Our member companies strive each day to provide their employees with the safest possibly workplace,” association senior vice president Chris Hamilton said of the safety award winners.
“They have set a standard with their focus on reducing workplace injuries and getting everyone home at the end of their shifts. We applaud their hard work and dedication to this, our most important responsibility.”
Association president Bill Raney also congratulated those who had earned award for responsible reclamation.
“Each of these companies goes far beyond what is required to restore former mine lands,” he said. “We always say coal miners are the real environmentalists. They don’t just talk about doing something…they go out and do it. They do it because this is their home.”