CONSOL Energy wins NMA plaudits for safety initiatives

CONSOL Energy Inc has become the 10th mining company to be fully certified under the National Mining Association (NMA)’s CORESafety® initiative.

The certification, which aims for zero fatalities and a 50% reduction in rate of injuries within five years, is the culmination of a multi-step, multi-year process that requires dedication at every level of an organisation, according to Rich Nolan, NMA President and CEO.

“Safety is an area where complacency has no place and the CORESafety framework is an important tool to drive constant vigilance and awareness,” he said.

Jimmy Brock, President and CEO of CONSOL Energy, said it was a “tremendous” honour and testament to the work and dedication of its miners, to receive the certification.

“Safety is more than a core value at CONSOL Energy, it is a condition of employment and a way of life,” he said. “Reaching this milestone demonstrates our employees’ commitment to safety and our focus on continually integrating best-practices while embracing technology and innovation, as we strive towards an incident-free workplace.”

For over 10 years, CONSOL has operated under an “Absolute ZERO value system” based on the premise that having zero accidents is normal and that any accident is uncharacteristic and inconsistent with company values, according to the NMA.

Consol owns and operates the Pennsylvania Mining Complex and the Baltimore Marine Terminal, in addition to controlling over 1 billion tons (907 Mt) of undeveloped reserves, according to its website.

CORESafety’s approach to safety and health emphasises accident prevention and uses a risk-based management system anchored in leadership, management and assurance, the NMA says. The framework is designed to go beyond what is required by regulations, focusing on a goal of continuous improvement. Its objective is zero fatalities and a 50% reduction in mining’s injury rate within five years of implementation. In 2017, companies participating in the CORESafety system closed the year with zero fatalities across US operations.

CORESafety is a risk-based mine safety and health management system developed by NMA. The NMA said: “CORESafety participants agree to: commit to the CORESafety system; implement a functionally-equivalent version of the CORESafety safety and health management system; submit to NMA annual self-assessments of progress toward implementation of the CORESafety safety and health management system; and, if the company elects to become or maintain CORESafety certification, complete a thorough third-party assessment of its safety and health management system to verify that it is functionally equivalent to CORESafety and submit the assessment report to NMA.”

M&S Insurance and Safety Consultants Inc conducted the independent audit in September 2019.