Foresight is fully committed to the health and safety of our miners. Safety is of paramount importance not only because it ensures the health and welfare of our workforce, but also because placing a high priority on safety is good business.
Our management team shares the belief that a workplace that stresses careful compliance with safe working practices leads to compliance with other important areas such as operational methodologies, roof control, housekeeping, and equipment maintenance.
Our success has been recognized with various safety and mine rescue awards. Most recently, one of our mines earned the “Best Safety Frequency Award for Division 2 Mines”. Our emphasis on mine rescue operations has led to the training of over 125 of our miners in fire training for underground mines and preparation plants. This means that approximately 1 in every 6 of our miners is trained to deal with fire emergencies.
We have developed several innovative techniques to protect our mines and prevent injuries.
For example, we developed a roof control practice that attaches industrial-grade steel mesh to the roof of our mine entries utilizing a heavy-duty steel angle bracket. The mesh prevents loose rock or roof material from dislodging and potentially striking a miner. The angle bracket provides extraordinary support to the protective mesh by anchoring into the roof as well as the coal rib.
Another example involves the operator compartment in our shuttle cars. We believe we are the only coal operator in the US that has integrated an enclosed and air conditioned operator cab for all shuttle cars. The protected environment helps shield the operator from both striking hazards and dust.
A third example of our commitment to a safe working environment involves our investment in a portable rescue capsule. While not required by any rule, regulation or law, we recognized that an emergency situation could develop in the future where conventional primary and secondary access to one of our mines becomes blocked. In this event, the ability to quickly provide alternative access could be critical. For that reason, we own a portable drill. The Atlas Copco RD-20 drill is capable of drilling a 40 inch diameter hole to a maximum depth of 1,000 feet, which can reach the depth of all our mines.
Once the hole from the surface to the coal seam is complete we have a self-contained, truck mounted, electric escape hoist that can be used to extract trapped miners. The hoist is capable of reaching a depth of 1,000 feet and is equipped with a VFD drive to reach speeds of 246 feet per minute. The mobile unit is equipped with both a 26″ diameter and a 22″ diameter escape pod. The rescue capsule would be lowered into the coal mine to allow each trapped miner to be raised to the surface.