|Deer Creek Miners live by the motto, Safety First, Think Safe, Work Safe, Be Safe.|
It's safety first in Huntington Canyon at Deer Creek Mine and the Huntington Plant. They were rewarded for their accomplishments in the line of safety by Judi Johansen, president and PacifiCorp CEO in awards ceremonies on Dec. 4. Johansen flew in from Portland to meet first with the miners at Deer Creek. She congratulated the miners in being the receipient of the 50 pound traveling CEO safety trophy which is a reflection of their accomplishments in safety. She introduced those PacifiCorp officials traveling with her from Portland. She said their award will bring high visibility to a facility doing it right and will serve as an example to other PacifiCorp facilities.
Johansen said that Deer Creek was chosen from seven sites nominated for the award and the competition was close. "The judging committee felt your safety program was the most comprehensive and displayed the most teamwork. You have also won awards nationally for mine rescue. You are a model for the broader group and we want to take and import what you do to some parts of the company without as good of records so they can learn from what you've done. Last year, the first year of this award it went to Bridger and we hope you win again next year so we don't have to move it," said Johansen.
Johansen then presented the trophy and a check for $2,500 to Earl Snow and Lou Shelley, UMWA local president. The miners voted to donate the money to the United Way of Southeastern Utah.
Snow, director of operations and maintenance for Energy West Mining said, "No plant has accomplished what this group did and it is an honor to be part of this team and associate with you guys."
Shelley said, "Our local UMWA has worked hard on safety and the people who work for Earl are committed totally to safety. Tain Curtis and all of the people have done a tremendous job, we have good people at this mine. I am proud to be a union miner and I thank everyone for their efforts for safety.
Dee Jense, president of Interwest Mining said, "We appreciate you guys and your safety record; it's commendable. We'll see bumps before we get through, but we've done it before. Safety has been the number one focus for each one of us at Deer Creek. It is time to refocus, but it can be done, we can do better and set the bar higher. We appreciate all you've done. We have some tough times ahead getting through to Mill Fork, but with dedication we'll get through. We are the supplier of choice for the power plants and work in a competitive arena, and we can be the best at what we do."
Johansen said she had visited the mine two years ago and went on a tour which gave her a greater understanding of what they go through. She goes before the PacifiCorp board to request funding for projects like Mill Fork and to go underground at Bridger. "Capital is limited and it is easier to make a case when you are doing what you've been doing. It is easier to get support."
Johansen and her team spent some time with the miners answering some of their questions.
Johansen and her associates from Portland stayed for lunch at the mine and then went down the road to the Huntington Plant where they did another presentation.
Plant manager, Dave Sharp greeted Johansen and visitors. Johansen said she had been at the plant earlier in the year to present them with a gold flag for safety and her return in December is quite significant. She said the Huntington Plant has shown good focus with their safety programs. "Safety is what you do for yourselves," said Johansen.
Johansen presented the check for $2,500 to Bruce Wilson from the safety committee. The Huntington Plant workers voted to donate their check to the Emery, Carbon and Sanpete counties search and rescue units. Employees, Les Thompson, Ken Eley, Kirk McQuivey, Layne Potter, Brad Reed, Pete Alger and Leonard Norton are also search and rescue volunteers. They were recently involved in the rescue of Justin Harris from the Swell. Johansen congratulated these men for the part they played with the rescue.
Sharp said "Safety is a high priority at the Huntington plant and our employees take pride in their safety accomplishments."