As America strives to make airports and the skyways safer, one Missouri-based company is focusing its attention underground—where safety, training and emergency preparedness are key components of overall business success.
From Sept. 6 to 9, the Doe Run Company’s award-winning Missouri mine rescue teams hosted and trained with the Peruvian National Champion Mine Rescue team from Doe Run Peru’s Cobriza Mine. Doe Run Peru’s team, along with the 2006 U.S. National Champion Benchman, Ricky Martin, and 2004 U.S. National Champion Benchman Garry Moore Jr., both of Missouri, is preparing for the International Mine Rescue Contest being held in China Thursday through Saturday.
Meanwhile, Doe Run’s Missouri teams are preparing for the annual University of Missouri-Rolla competition scheduled for Sept. 27-29.
Throughout the four-day training, U.S. team trainers Larry Hampton and Danny King led the volunteer team members in practice drills at Doe Run’s West Fork Mine and Mill. Using scenarios developed to test knowledge and critical thinking, problem resolution, communication, personal protective equipment (PPE) repair and advanced first aid, the exercises focus on preparing team members for potential mine emergencies while training for the upcoming competitions.
A veteran mine rescue team member, Bob Roscoe, who is vice president of mining with Doe Run and was general manager for Doe Run Peru’s Cobriza mine from 1999 to 2002, is assisting with training and translation.
“Building camaraderie among three dozen mine rescue team members from Peru and the United States is especially rewarding for us,” explained Roscoe. “While there is the challenge of bridging the language barrier when our North and South American teams join efforts, they are very much in tune when it comes to established mine rescue rules, techniques, skills and communications.”
Attired in full mine rescue safety gear, the Peruvian team was first to enter the “pseudo mine” on Wednesday, to resolve the problem scenario developed by Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) Inspector David Weaver of Rolla, Mo. The team cautiously worked its way through the “mine,” continuously checking for potential gases, hazards and structural damage, along a route to rescue trapped miners.
Weaver, Hampton and King monitored progress, making note of any errors or omissions as the team worked to solve problems and provide any needed first aid on the way.
“I was very pleased to be invited by Doe Run to participate in this training effort,” said Weaver. “As their Peru team members and two Missouri benchmen prepare for the International Mine Rescue Contest in China and the Missouri teams prepare for the upcoming competition at the University of Missouri-Rolla, all are enhancing their safety knowledge and mine rescue skills, making them even better prepared should there be a real-life need for their services.”
“We are happy that Doe Run allowed us the opportunity to come to the United States for a week of training with our North American counterparts,” added Benjamin Pacherrez, Doe Run Peru mine rescue team member. “It is very helpful to us, not only in reinforcing our skills and knowledge of the competition rules and procedures, but in bringing to our attention mistakes that we can correct before the competition. Training and education in safety, both in Peru and here, is part of Doe Run’s safety first program – it is not just about contests, but making sure all employees work safely and are prepared if there is ever a real emergency.”
The Doe Run Company operates some of the safest underground mines in the world in Missouri, winning the prestigious Sentinels of Safety awards 23 times in the last 33 years. Likewise, Doe Run Peru’s mine rescue team took third place in the 2002 International Mine Rescue Competition, and top honors in Peru’s first national mine rescue competition in 2004 and again in 2005.
For more information about the 2006 International Mine Rescue Contest, visit http://www.minerescue.2006.com .
Based in St. Louis, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral production, metals fabrication, recycling and reclamation. The company and its subsidiaries deliver products and services needed to provide power, protection and convenience through premium products and associated metals including lead, zinc, copper, gold and silver.
As the operator of one of the world’s only multi-metal facilities and the Americas’ largest integrated lead producer, Doe Run employs more than 5,000 people, with U.S. operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona, and Peruvian operations in Cobriza and La Oroya. Committed to sustainable development, The Doe Run Company has helped bring electrical power, business training, educational opportunities and improved telecommunications to rural communities in Peru and the U.S.