October was a tough month for the American coal industry. With two Kentucky coal miners dying in coal mining accidents in a one-week period and a Pennsylvania coal miner losing his life in a Dauphin County tragedy, we are humbly reminded about the safety-sensitive nature of coal mining and, as a result, we want to once again acknowledge that safety continues to be our top priority at Vesta. Recently, Vesta safety coordinator Raymond Simpson traveled to the mines to conduct safety talks and reinforce good safety habits. Please find below an outline of his message. Please read, reflect, and put these thoughts into practice.
Set Your Own Standards. Do not be influenced by others around you if they are negative. If you fail to wear safety glasses because others do not, remember the blindness you may suffer will be yours alone to live with. The gloves you decided not to wear could have prevented the stitches you received.
Operate Equipment Only if Qualified. Your supervisor may not realize you have never done the job before. You have the responsibility to let your supervisor know, so the necessary training can be provided.
Respect Machinery. If you put something in a machine’s way, it will crush it, pinch it, or cut it. Make sure all guards are in place. Never hurry beyond your ability to think and act safely. Remember to always de-energize, lock-out, tag-out and try-out the power first before working on a piece of machinery.
Use Your Own Initiative for Safety Protection. You are in the best position to see problems when they arise. Ask for the personal protective equipment or guidance you may need.
Ask Questions. If you are uncertain, ASK. Do not accept answers that contain, “I think, I assume, I guess.”
Use Care and Caution When Lifting. Most muscle and spinal injuries are from overstrain. Know your limits. Do not attempt to exceed them. The few minutes it takes to get help will prevent weeks of being off work and pain.
Practice Good Housekeeping. If you have personal trash throw it in the garbage underground or bring it back outside with you to dispose of it. Disorganized work areas are the breeding grounds for accidents. You yourself may be a victim. Do not be the cause. Wear proper and sensible work clothes. Do not wear loose clothing, dangling jewelry, and be sure that long hair is tied back and cannot become entangled in the machinery.
Practice Good Personal Cleanliness. Avoid touching your eyes, face, and mouth with gloves or hands that are dirty. Sanitize and wash your hands when necessary. Willingly accept and follow safety rules and always encourage others to do so. Your attitude can play a major role in the prevention of accidents and injuries.
Vesta recognizes that our employees are the single most-important asset in our operation and promises to handle all employees with integrity and respect and expects employees to do the same in their worksite relationships and responsibilities.
Vesta believes that a safe worker is a conscientious worker who is committed not only to his/her personal welfare but the well-being of co-workers, which not only promotes a healthier work environment but a more dependable and productive one as well.