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The headline says it all.  A tragic irony that on March 4, the day before the Big Upper Branch Mine disaster, that Massey Energy put out a press release touting its safety program and stating the federal government mine safety program is all political without any benefit to miners and their families.  

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Massey CEO Don Blankenship is gearing up for his company's annual event to honor mines who leaders have taken safety and environmental standards to the next level.

For those who never worked in the mine industry, these safety events are sometimes the biggest social event a company will provide.  It usually involves providing awards to those sites and employees with the best safety records, with honors and fanfare.  
It is profoundly sad that what should have been an event to promote the companies mine safety program is now a wake for those who died working in the mines that had a history of safety violations for a company that prides itself on fighting MSHA on every documented violation and working for a CEO that is quoated as saying .

We don't pay much attention to the violation count.  

Too bad they didn't pay attention.  A violation count is a leading indicator as to what will happen in the future.  The best safety programs seek to eliminate all the potential violations in order to prevent a horrific disaster like that which occurred at Big Upper Branch Mine.  May those who survive find some comfort in the days to come.  

Originally posted to Banzaibozo on Tue Apr 06, 2010 at 10:54 AM PDT.

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