On July 15, Montana Resources celebrated its 3,652th day without a lost time injury at its openpit Molybdenum mine in Butte, MT. For those keeping track, that equals or 10 straight years of no lost time due to a work accident.
Mike McGivern, Montana Resources vice president of human resources, told the Montana Standard that every industry has gotten safer, not just mining, and not just Montana Resources.
“It’s not okay to hurt people on a job and it’s not okay to act in an unsafe manner,” McGivern said.
But he said Montana Resources is particularly cautious when it comes to safety. Even though McGivern, who is a safety engineer by training, is the highest-ranking Montana Resources official who oversees safety, he says the credit belongs not to him but to Rolin Erickson, president of Montana Resources, and to the workers.
“At the end of the day, it’s the top guy who drives the culture. We all report to him. He (Erickson) deserves a lot of the credit, as do the other 369 men and women who go home safe and healthy every day,” McGivern said.
Montana Resources’s safety record is “commendable,” said an administrator with the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration — and that was in 2015. The mining company on the east side of Butte has not had an accident that involved a regular employee and resulted in lost time at work since July 8, 2009.
“You have no idea how proud Rolin is and the senior staff of the accomplishments of Montana Resources’s workforce. It really is a tremendous milestone,” McGivern said.
On March 16, 2015, Montana Resources received the Governor’s Safety Award due to its safety record and compliance with the Montana Safety Culture Act Montana Resources has received a Safety Award for Outstanding Dedication to Safe Quality Production every year since 2011 from the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals until that organization ceased operations.
Even though going through safety protocols on a constant basis — McGivern said some crews have daily safety meetings — can be time consuming and could be seen as eating into the mine’s profits, McGivern said that’s not the culture at Montana Resources.
“The safest mines are the most productive,” McGivern said is the motto at MR. “It’s an investment well spent.”