Cornerstone - Summer 2014 - (Page 1)
F R OM THE EDI TOR
A Common Thread of Safety
he current issue of Cornerstone focuses on mining energy poverty and safety.
These two issues are connected by a common thread: Every person on this
planet deserves to live and work in safe conditions.
Indoor air pollution caused from combustion of solid fuels, generally used by those
without modern energy access, is one of the most important health and environmental problems facing our world today. Clean-burning cookstoves, safer solid
fuels in the near term, and widespread electrification are necessary to reduce this
deadly indoor air pollution and the associated unsafe living conditions-especially
for women and children. Increased access to modern energy services can also offer
greater opportunity for people to support themselves through gainful employment.
Executive Editor, Cornerstone
Providing enough electricity to combat energy poverty will require more energy
from all sources, including coal, which is projected to provide about 50% of the
on-grid additions. It is no secret that developing countries have relied on coal to
increase electrification rates, the best example of which has occurred in China.
India now stands to follow suit and today is investing in coal. Balancing climate and
energy poverty considerations must become an important part of the energy dialogue, but climate concerns cannot be a reason to keep billions of people living in
unsafe conditions without modern energy access.
Although coal must play a role in lifting people out of poverty and to support jobcreating industrialization, coal must be produced responsibly. As the content for this
issue was under preparation the coal mine disaster in Turkey served as a reminder
that some places do not yet practice robust health and safety standards.
Much of the safety-focused content in this issue is based on the successes achieved
with modern mining that emphasizes health and safety. In the U.S. and Australia,
for example, such a focus has led to a dramatic drop in accidents compared to past
averages. Recently, however, both countries have struggled with plateaus and even
spikes in their safety results, inspiring renewed efforts to continue to progress
toward zero-fatality goals.
Much of the world's coal is mined in China, where there is sufficient space to
improve safety. Fortunately, there have been some recent indications of progress
fueled by government support. From 2002 to 2013, fatal accidents decreased by
90%. The largest coal mining company in China, Shenhua Group, has developed a
preemptive risk control system that has led to the lowest fatality rate of any coal
producer in China; the implementation of this system is now spreading throughout
China. Combined with an emphasis on fewer, larger, and more modern mines, there
is reason to hope that mining safety will continue to improve in China.
To quote an article from this issue, "Although the minerals industry accepts that
inherent hazards exist, there is no reason for working in the industry to be dangerous." I hope that the successful safety programs discussed in this issue will
encourage knowledge sharing around robust health and safety systems so that coal
can play a responsible role in increasing the opportunity for everyone to have a
healthy, productive life.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Cornerstone - Summer 2014
From the Editor: Water Crisis Calls for Common Action
Cover Story: Shifting the Paradigms of Health and Safety in Mining
Commitment to Safety
Modern Energy: The “Golden Thread” That Connects People, Economies, and Progress
Studying the Dominance
of Coal in China’s Energy Mix
Advancing the Alleviation of Energy Poverty
Energy Poverty in India and
What’s Needed to Address It
Balancing South Africa’s Energy Poverty and Climate Change Commitments
Europe Struggles to Pay Its Energy Bill
Shenhua Group’s Preemptive Risk Control System: An Effective Approach for Coal Mine Safety Management
Evaluating Safety and Health
in Australia’s Mining Sector
CORESafety®: A System to Overcome the Plateau in U.S. Mine Safety and Health Management
Sustainable Charcoal: A Key Component of Total Energy Access?
An Analysis of the Interdependence Between China’s Economy and Coal
Synergetic Technologies for
Coal and Gas Extraction in China
The Global Need for Clean
Coal Technologies and J-COAL’s Roadmap to Get There
Cornerstone - Summer 2014