Doe Run Co.'s Southeast Missouri Mining & Milling Division (SEMO) in Viburnum, MO surpassed two million safe work hours without a lost-time injury — a first in its 50 years. The division officially marked this milestone in April. SEMO’s six mines and four mills in Missouri employ more than 870 people who are responsible for 70 percent of the United States’ primary lead supply. SEMO employees receive 40 hours of in-depth training on U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) guidelines upon hire with continued safety training throughout their careers.
Companywide, employees completed more than 18,000 health and safety training hours in 2012.
“Our employees uphold Doe Run’s culture of safety through their commitment to protecting one another every day,” said Mark Yingling, vice president of environmental, health and safety at Doe Run. “Creating an environment where safety is always top-of-mind is necessary to meet these impressive milestones. Thanks to these collective efforts, Doe Run operates some of the safest mines in the industry.”
SEMO’s six underground lead mines have earned the National Mining Association’s (NMA) prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award a combined 25 times since 1971.
Doe Run’s safety processes reinforce that safety starts with preparation. Employees use safety programs, like job safety analysis and behavior based safety, to identify potential job hazards in their work areas, document tools and training to help coworkers perform the job safely, and then monitor each other for safe and unsafe behaviors.
“Many of our employees work in challenging conditions underground, so it’s essential that we prepare them with the proper training and tools to do their jobs as safely as possible,” said Steve Batts, general manager at SEMO.
SEMO also employs award-winning mine rescue teams in the event of a real mine emergency. Doe Run holds the reigning MSHA Metal/Nonmetal National Mine Rescue championship title. In 2012, Doe Run’s Maroon Team captured first place at the 42nd Southern Regional Mine Rescue Classic in New Iberia, LA, while the Gray Team captured third in the Carlsbad, NM, Southwestern Regional Mine Rescue contest. Doe Run’s mine rescue team also received first-place overall at Missouri University of Science and Technology’s annual Mine Rescue
SEMO previously achieved 1 million consecutive safe hours in 1989, 1996 and 2012. Another Doe Run division, the Buick Resource Recycling Division in Glover, Mo., reached 1.25 million safe hours in August 2012. Doe Run’s Fabricated Products Inc. (FPI) facility in Casa Grande, Ariz., also achieved one million safe hours in 2011.