Coal Age

DEC 2012

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prairie state continued bility excellence. Though we can't benchmark with any other internal organization or mine, through JoyGlobal's study we can work with other companies and partners. That allows us to evaluate how we're working against other mines in an effort to review our performance," said Krivokuca. "We're among the first in the Illinois Basin to do this. It's part of our mandate to be on the cutting edge of technology and data services." "With JoyGlobal's worldwide knowledge of product history, we can work with them to better understand our machines. There are trends in equipment that we can look for and those trends then help us ensure productivity. Finding useful information and correlating data is vital to what we do," said Grogan. Beyond equipment monitoring, PSEC emphasizes rigorous training for each member of the crew. Given how new mine operation is, the average experience level for each crewmember is only two years. About 20% of PSEC's workforce are "greenhats." Stage two will be to train them into more experienced white hats. "We believe the key to the business underground is getting the right employees. We're trying to hire for the life of the mine, 30 plus years. And we are still ramping up," said Krivokuca. At press time, PSEC was still hiring and looking for additional experienced employees as it crews up beyond 200 employees. To help train the new crew, PSEC has initiated a partnership with Illinois Eastern Community College. "They have spearheaded some of our activities and training. Over the years, they have hired ex-MSHA inspectors to train their students. We like this because we participate in a core safety program with the National Mining Association. Zero citations are our goal. We believe we can get there, and be at 50% of the industry average for incident rate and zero lost time hours," said Krivokuca. "We have also hired a maintenance trainer on staff. He's an experienced miner with many, many years of maintenance knowledge under his belt. He goes with younger guys to show them shortcuts and tricks, what they need to do to take care of a job. Understanding correct electrical controls is something we're really emphasizing given the necessary safety requirements. We're also now working on hydraulics too," said Jackson. In addition to its high standards of training, a large percentage of the new workforce is trained as EMTs as well as coal miners. "In January, we'll have another 40 EMTs on staff. That's one in six. If someone needs attention, we have the best possible people available for them. All of our control room operators are EMTs so they can communicate to an outside source and help coordinate emergency services with the mine," said Krivokuca. The mine control room itself provides state-of-the-art, 24 hour coverage and "is the brain of the whole operation," said Jackson. PSEC currently fields one mine rescue team at the moment, but "our intentions are to have two functioning teams at the competitive level. Following the Illinois Coal Institute's competition, we saw that our first team was in a better than midrange state. As we progress, our mine safety component is moving along quickly," said Krivokuca. company profile - paid advertisement 42 www.coalage.com December 2012

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