Safety Policy and Philosophy
Contura Energy Safety Policy Statement
Contura Energy and its affiliates believe that safety is a core value and is the foundation for how we manage every aspect of our business. Our behavior-based safety process empowers each and every employee to engage in the elimination of at-risk behaviors in the workplace, and to be accountable not only for their own safety, but for the safety of those around them. Every level of our organization maintains the expectation of providing a safe and healthy work environment.
- Incidents, injuries, and occupational illnesses are not an acceptable part of our business, and working safely is a condition of employment.
- Any task that cannot be performed safely shall not be performed. No job is so urgent that the time cannot be taken to do it safely.
- Every person is accountable for his/her safety and the safety of those around them, and is empowered to stop any task if he or she believes that safety is being compromised.
- All levels of the organization shall promote a safe, compliant, and productive work environment. Management shall demonstrate leadership, honesty and integrity and provide the resources necessary to ensure safe and compliant operations.
- Every operation maintains a culture of safety excellence, and promotes a strong culture of employee engagement in the safety process. Employees are expected to identify at-risk behaviors and conditions and initiate appropriate corrective actions.
Performance and Regulatory Compliance
Contura and its affiliates believe that employee personal safety must take precedence over all other issues. Employees are empowered with the skills, training, resources, and responsibility to perform their jobs in a safe manner, and are accountable for their own safety as well as the safety of their co-workers. In addition to established safety standards within the organization, our affiliate operations utilize a behavior-based safety process that is underpinned by management engagement and employee involvement. All levels of the organization continually strive to improve processes that promote a safe and healthy workplace, and every employee has a voice in the safety process at each operation.
Additionally, our operations fully participate in the National Mining Association’s CORESafety initiative that focuses on preventing accidents before they happen using leadership, management and assurance. Contura remains committed to advancing these and other safety principles throughout the organization.
When possible, Contura’s affiliates seek to exceed the minimum legal requirements with regard to safety and health. We work alongside a number of federal and state regulatory bodies in order to appropriately record and report our safety performance. Specifically, our personnel work to comply with regulations from the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), as well as a number of state and other regulatory agencies, some of which are listed below.
- Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
- Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
- West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health, Safety & Training
Training and Technology
Contura’s affiliated operations routinely collaborate with academic institutions as well as federal and state agencies to facilitate testing of new concepts and technologies in the areas of safety and health. In 2016, Contura collaborated with the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy to produce a training video that demonstrated critical decision-making needed in a life-threatening situation underground. The “Miners’ Bond” received the Grand Prize for the best overall miner training material in the nation awarded at the National Mine Health and Safety Academy TRAM Conference. The award winning video can be viewed here, on the Miners’ Bond video on Virginia DMME’s YouTube channel.
Contura also maintains a state-of-the-art training facility in Julian, West Virginia. It provides an opportunity for classroom and hands-on training to underground and surface personnel. Equipment simulators allow equipment operators to improve their skills and abilities related to both safety and efficiency.
Contura’s affiliates take steps to utilize the latest technology and methods whenever possible in order to provide the best safety and protection for our employees. Many safety and training devices have been put into service within our organization long before being required by federal and state regulations. For example, first generation real-time personal dust monitors (PDM) were purchased and used in numerous engineering studies long before MSHA regulations requiring such devices went into effect. They have assisted in improving operator positioning to reduce dust exposures, as well as identifying specific sources of respirable dust.
The first generation of proximity detection systems were also tested underground in operations acquired by Contura’s affiliates prior to any regulatory requirements. They are utilized by our continuous mining machine operators and other working section personnel to maintain their awareness when working in close proximity to the continuous mining machine.
At Contura, we believe in taking precautions to avoid accidents and prevent them from ever occurring. We also believe in being thoroughly prepared to handle an incident in the event that it does occur. As part of this preparedness, Contura’s Incident Response Plan has been developed and widely disseminated to appropriate field and corporate personnel to clearly lay the framework for a prompt and coordinated response should an incident occur. Our mine rescue teams undergo highly-specialized training and compete in regional and national mine rescue events to test their skills in first aid, firefighting, mine ventilation, and critical decision-making. Our mine managers also routinely participate in simulated emergency drills to test and refine their ability to manage a crisis situation.
Awards and Achievements
Facilities operated by Contura affiliates have been recognized on numerous occasions for outstanding performance and have received a number of awards in the areas of safety and mine rescue.
For a list of awards won by Contura affiliates or their operations, click here.