Cornerstone - Summer 2014 - (Page 53)
CORESafety®: A System to Overcome
the Plateau in U.S. Mine Safety and Health
By Bruce Watzman
Senior Vice President, National Mining Association
he National Mining Association (NMA) is an advocate at
the federal level for mining companies in the U.S. The
NMA not only advocates for mining companies, but also
acts as a leader in key areas that are critical for the sustainability of the industry. Few issues are more important to the
mining industry than safety. Therefore, the NMA is spearheading a movement to improve safety and health management in the U.S. mining industry.
As the largest constituent of the U.S. mining industry, coal
producers must be an integral part of any overall effort to
further improve mining safety. The NMA is collaborating with
coal producers and other mining companies to make progress
toward an end goal of zero mining accidents.
The U.S. coal mining industry takes safety seriously, and major
improvements in safety have been achieved. Since 1970,
fatalities in coal mines have decreased by about 92%, while
coal production in the U.S. has increased by 62% (see Figure
1). In the last 18 years alone, injuries at coal mines have fallen
by half. Despite this clear improvement in safety, Figure 1
also reveals that there has been a plateau in the number of
fatalities at coal mines-a phenomenon that is also true of the
overall U.S. mining industry.
Production: 62% increase
Fatalities: 92% decrease
Production (106 standard tons)
With the goal of improving mining safety in the U.S., the NMA
has asked the following questions: What is necessary to further
FIGURE 1. Fatalities and production rates in the U.S. coal
improve safety and health performance? Will new laws and
regulations be required, as proposed by some, or should the
U.S. mining industry consider a new model to manage safety
and health after more than 40 years under the Federal Mine
Safety and Health Act of 1969?
"Few issues are more important
to the mining industry than
the issue of safety."
Focusing on these questions, the NMA set up a task force to
examine the potential obstacles resulting from current mining safety regulations. The result of the NMA's efforts was a
potential solution: CORESafety®, Committed to Excellence in
Mining Safety. CORESafety® is a common safety and health
framework that relies on a management system approach to
improve safety and health performance. The ultimate goal
of the CORESafety® approach is to work with the U.S. mining industry to achieve zero fatalities and a 50% reduction
in the rate of injuries within five years-goals that are often
expressed as 0:50:5.
NMA's board of directors endorsed CORESafety® in May 2011,
and the deployment of CORESafety® has been moving forward
since then. We believe that CORESafety® embodies the commitment of NMA members to the safety and health of their
employees and have made it available, free of charge, to any
organization, domestic or international. Although CORESafety®
was developed to drive continuous safety improvement in U.S.
mining, the risk-based management approach at the system's
core can be applied to mining operations across the globe.
Today, more than 125,000 U.S. mining industry employees are
participating in CORESafety®.
CORESafety® is built on the Plan-Do-Check-Act model (see
Figure 2), which has been successfully deployed in other
industries to achieve improvement in safety and health performance. This model includes 20 modules (listed in Figure 2)
designed specifically for mining by mine safety and health
professionals. The modules can be adapted to the operations
of all mining companies. They are not a replacement for, but
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
If you would like to try to load the digital publication without using Flash Player detection, please click here.