Uncompromised safety is a core value of Westmoreland Coal Company. We use a grass roots approach, encouraging and promoting employee involvement with input from all employees; we feel employee involvement is a pillar of our safety excellence. We stress that all employees are responsible for safety, their personal safety as well as the safety of one’s co-worker. We have in place comprehensive safety programs and systems, extensive safety and skills training, regular safety audits and inspections, mine rescue training, and supervisory leadership training. Recording, reporting, and investigation protocols are in place for all accidents, incidents, losses and near misses to avoid reoccurrence and eliminate potential hazards. We couple all these measures with total vigilance in following regulatory standards, which is the backbone of our strong safety culture enjoyed by our employees, contractors, vendors, and all visiting our operations.
Beulah Mine – Lowest Accident Incident Rate in the Lignite Industry
Dakota Westmoreland Corporation’s Beulah Mine has received the Lignite Energy Council’s Safety Excellence Award for the mine or plant with the lowest accident incident rate in the lignite industry.
Beulah Mine Safety Award
“The lignite users and producers in this region believe that the efficient production of a low-cost, reliable energy source cannot be achieved without serious attention to the health and safety of their employees,” said John Dwyer, president of the Lignite Energy Council. “Dakota Westmoreland’s Beulah Mine has made a commitment to safe operations above and beyond what is required by state and federal regulations,” Dwyer said. “Dakota Westmoreland is truly dedicated to the safety of its employees, and has performed exceptionally to earn this award.”
The Beulah Mine had an exceptional safety record in 2010, completing the entire year without any lost-time accidents. As of December 31, 2010, the Beulah Mine had worked 667 days without a lost-time accident and continues to build on that record having worked 770 days without an accident resulting in lost-time.The mine also completed 2010 without an MSHA reportable. Dakota Westmoreland’s accident rate of 0.00 compares to the U.S. surface mining industry average of 1.11 for 2010 as reported by the Mine Safety Health Administration.
Jewett Mine Achievements
The Texas Westmoreland’s Jewett Mine has a rich and time honored tradition of excellence with respect to mine safety. At the core of this tradition is the individual miner’s respect for the safety of their fellow worker and the cultural value of maintaining a safe workplace. Over the past twelve years the Jewett Mine has maintained a specialized rescue team that has played a significant role in both mine rescue activities and safety training. At the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute’s (RMCMI) annual meeting, mine rescue teams from several mines meet and share techniques and lessons learned. The Jewett mine rescue team is highly recognized as a leader in mine safety at this annual meeting and plays a key role in the RMCMI mine safety activities.
Kemmerer Mine Safety Awards
The Kemmerer mine was purchased by Westmoreland Coal Company in late January 2012. Employees are very excited to be part of the Westmoreland team and embrace the strong safety culture and philosophy of the Company. Westmoreland Kemmerer Inc. formed a mine rescue team which participated in the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institute’s Annual Mine Rescue Competition in late June 2012 in Vail, Colorado. The employees of the Kemmerer mine understand the importance of keeping all employees safe and incident free. The mine has been actively involved with improving its safety culture and participating in mine wide safety audits at other Westmoreland operations.
The Kemmerer mine was recognized by the Mine Safety and Health Administration with a Certificate of Achievement in Safety for the coal processing facility group completing all of fiscal year 2011 without a lost work day. The coal processing facility group continued this exemplary performance by completing all of fiscal year 2012 without a lost work day, as well.
Savage Mine – Exceptional Safety Record
The Savage Mine has been presented the Westmoreland Coal Company President’s Award in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2013 for the safest mine within the company.
Safety performance at the Savage Mine has also been recognized by the Federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) through their “Certificate of Achievement in Safety” award. This award was presented to Westmoreland Savage small surface coal group Sentinels of Safety Program for its outstanding safety record in 2004 with 21,128 employee hours worked without a lost workday injury. This award was also presented in 2007 with 21,055 hours, 2008 with 22,278 hours, and 2009 with 21,579 hours worked without a lost workday injury. The mine has been nominated to receive it again for 2013.
Due to their outstanding safety record, the Westmoreland Savage Mine was invited by MSHA to participate with mines from the Powder River Basin in developing Stakeholders’ Best Practices in the fall of 2005. The group put together two best practices, “Wellness” and “Windshield Access” procedures.
In addition, Westmoreland Savage has received the Montana Governor’s Award for Safety and Health in the mining category for the years of 2007 and 2009, and in 2010, and received the Rocky Mountain Coal Mining Institutes’ Safety Award for Surface Mines for outstanding and ongoing safety performance during calendar years 2007, 2008, and 2009.
Western Energy Company – Recipient of the 2011 Sentinels of Safety
Western Energy Company has continued with a Behavior Based Safety program that thrives with the participation of our employees. The work force has been empowered and have taken ownership in our safety program. Western Energy completed over 600,000 hours without a reportable injury to receive the Sentinels of Safety from the National Mining Association.
Roanoke Valley Energy Facility
Westmoreland Partners Roanoke Valley Energy Facility has received North Carolina’s highest recognition for workplace safety, the Carolina Star award. The plant initially received the award in 2003 and has successfully completed Carolina Star re-certification in 2006, 2009 and 2012.
Recognition as a Carolina Star site is the highest safety and health designation awarded by the N.C. Department of Labor with only 96 businesses in North Carolina having received Star status. ROVA remains the only electrical generating station in North Carolina to achieve this status.