“I want to commend the employees of Coal Creek for their unwavering focus on best-in-class safety,” said Jim Opfer, general manager, Coal Creek. “Coal Creek is a great example of Arch’s philosophy that safety and productivity go hand-in-hand.”

The award identifies Coal Creek as the safest small-operator surface mine among industry peers in the RMCMI’s eight-state region. The U.S. national coal industry average is 2.35 lost-time incidents per 200,000 employee-hours. Coal Creek had zero lost-time incidents in 2012.

In all, Coal Creek’s 145 employees have surpassed 2.3 million employee-hours without a lost-time incident and have operated the mine for more than three years without a reportable safety incident.