The award is given annually to recognize an innovation that leads to improved safety performance of Colorado miners. With a brief investment of materials and time, the Twentymile longwall crew invented and assembled a staple-lock tool that uses hydraulics to remove portions of each longwall panel, minimizing incident risk. The association also recognized members of the mine’s workforce for significant safety achievements.

“The leadership of the crew at Twentymile reflects how teams across Peabody collaborate to refine best practices, create standard processes and share best-in-class performance standards,” said Peabody Executive Vice President and COO Eric Ford. “This leadership also helped Twentymile mine complete this past year with the best safety performance among Peabody’s underground mines.”

Twentymile Mine Technical Safety Engineer Bob Johnson was recognized with the Lifetime Safety Award, while Career Safety Achievement Award honors went to Engineer Kevin Copeland and Operator Lance McLaughlin. The Lifetime Safety Achievement is awarded when merited. The Career Safety Achievement Award is given annually to miners who have gone above and beyond by contributing new ideas, innovations and emergency responses along with operating free of a reportable incident during their careers.

A dozen Twentymile miners earned Individual Safety Awards, each marking 30 years of operating injury-free. Twentymile also received a nomination for the association’s Large Underground Coal Mine-Excellence in Safety Award, marking its improved safety performance.

Nominations were submitted to the Colorado Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety and then finalized by the Colorado Mining Association. The awards were presented in early March.

Twentymile achieved a 2.12 incident rate that is nearly 62% better than peers, compared to MSHA’s preliminary 2010 data showing an industry average of 5.65 for underground peers. Twentymile’s 2010 safety performance also reflects a 60%t year-over-year improvement. These strong results cap record global safety results for Peabody. In 2010, Peabody improved its global safety incident rate more than 6%—an extension of the company’s record improvement each year for the past three years. Peabody also operated the safest U.S. large surface mine, earning the prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award from the U.S. Department of Labor, an honor the company has earned three of the past seven years.

Twentymile is located near Hayden, Colo., and shipped approximately 7.2 million tons of coal in 2010.