In 2011, the National Mining Association’s (NMA) board or directors saw that the United States mining industry needed to improve mine safety and health.
Coming off the heels of the explosion that killed 29 miners at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia, the deadliest mine accident in the United States in four decades, the board set out to create an industry-driven system that would lead to a safer mining industry.
Based upon the proven “plan, do, check, act” model, and following successful safety and health management systems used in other industries, as well as mining in other countries, that have improved their health and safety performance, CORESafety was born.
Using a management system that involves leadership, management and assurance, its objective is to have zero fatalities and a 50 percent reduction in mining's injury rate within five years (0:50:5).
“At the heart of this is risk assessment. Identifying potential risks and engineering them out to the greatest degree possible degree,” NMA vice president Bruce Watzman, told Mining Engineering in a recent SME Thought Leaders Podcast interview.
Now in its fourth year, the program continues to evolve and continues to look for ways to drive improvement in mine safety and health.
“We are continuing to populate the site (http://www.coresafety.org/) with the tools and worksheets to make it as simple as possible for companies to implement it at the worksite, because if this is to work that is where it needs to live,” said Watzman. “It has to live not just at the corporate office, although it needs to live there as well, but it has to live at the work site. That is where the rubber hits the road and where the system makes a difference.”
To hear the full interview with Watzman, including his thoughts on the next phase for CORESafety and mine safety and health go to the SME Thought Leaders Podcasts home page http://www.smenet.org/podcast/.