Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett congratulated two East Kootenay mines in Victoria on Monday, March 23 for their accomplishments at the 53rd Annual Mine Safety Awards.
“I tour saw mills, pulp mills, construction areas, highway projects, all kinds of industrial/construction work areas and I feel the safest when I’m on a mine site because there’s so much of a focus on safety,” said Bennett.
The two mines in question are Certain Teed Gypsum of Windermere and Baymag Inc. of Radium.
Bennett said the win for Certain Teed was most notable as it had accomplished an injury frequency rate of zero with at least 15,000 worker hours behind it in the last year.
“Mining is an inherently dangerous activity. There’s a lot of heavy equipment and moving parts on the site. So for a mine, even a small one, to go through a whole year without anybody having an injury, they obviously have made that commitment to safety being a number one priority,” said Bennett.
Although no Elk Valley coal mines walked away as winners this year, their most recent accomplishments include wins for Coal Mountain and Elkview in 2014 for an operation having the lowest injury frequency rate with 200,000 to 1 million worker hours logged and an operation having the lowest injury frequency rate with a minimum of 1 million worker hours logged respectively.
Bennett said, “[These wins are] so significant because when you combine the B.C. Mine Safety Awards with all the effort that goes into the mine rescue competitions that we have in the Valley and around the province you really start to understand how strong the culture of safety is in B.C.”
Bennett also complimented the Elk Valley’s work with mine rescue teams and their constant improvements with first aid and extraction.