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Past Meeting in June 2006 - Salt Lake City, Utah

Red Lion Hotel
161 West 600 South  
Salt Lake City, Utah

Meeting Minutes

June 07, 2006

5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

  • Registration and Hospitality room


June 08, 2006

7:00 am – 8:00 am

  • Registration


8:00 am – 8:30 am

  • Opening remarks/Business Meeting – Ed Barnett President


8:30 am – 9:30 am

  • Group Discussion -

Divide into groups to discuss Safety, New Innovations and Technology, Problems and solutions, and Future Meeting Presentation Topics. Summary of discussion will be presented the following morning.


9:30 am – 9:45 am

  • Break


9:45 am–10:30 am

  • Jacobs Ranch 2570 dragline upgrades and erection - Aaron Spielman, Jacobs Ranch Mine, Calvin Randall, Kennecott Energy, Rob Marnell, DCS, Rick Scherer, Flanders Electric


10:30 am – 11:15 am

  • Haul truck innovations, IGBT based Inverter system - Allen Randolph, General Electric


11:15 am - 12:00 am

  • New power plant-Martin Reyes - Barrick GoldStrike


12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

  • Lunch


1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

  • Centurion System – Chuck Kalin, John Seibold, Pete Miller, P&H


2:00 pm – 2:15 pm

  • Break


2:15 pm – 3:00 pm

  • Web based skills assessment and E-training – Greg Swiderski, Lee Griffin, P&H


3:00 pm – 3:30 pm

  • IEEE/ANSI Standards and Switchgear for Surface Mining – Dave Gohil, Central Electric


3:30 pm - 3:45 pm

  • Break


3:45 pm - 4:15 pm

  • Methane monitor system upgrade, Tom Shepherd, Mike Erisman, Cordero Rojo


5:30 pm – 7 pm

  • Hospitality room


June 09, 2005


8:00 am – 9:00 am

  • Group Discussion  -  Summary of Group Discussions held on Thursday.


9:00 a.m. –   9:15 am

  • Break


9:15 am - 10:00 am

  • Remote drum roll - Jerry Endres and Tiffany Shaw - TXU


10:00 am - 11:00 am

  • De-contactors - Application for NFPA 70E, Randy Carston, Meltric


11:00 am – 11:45 am

  • Internal arcing fault and protection of equipment and Personnel- David Gohil, Central Electric


11:45 am – 12:00 am

  • Closing remarks by Ed Barnett, President


12:00 am – 1:00 pm

  • Lunch


2 p.m. – 3:30 pm

  • Steering committee meeting




Topics Discussed






Group Discussions


Group 1

Group 2

Group 3

Group 4

Group 5

Group 6

Group 7








Group 1 Discussion















Group 2 Discussion
























Group 3 Discussion



  • Tim Morrison, Texas Westmoreland, says they’ve accomplished over 1 million hours no lost time at their site.

  • Members of the group indicated that chocking of vehicles has become a large issue at most mine sites and strictly enforced by MSHA inspectors.

  • Alcoa has implemented an arc flash protection program.  Mostly Class 1 and 2 PPE is used by employees.  The prevailing question amongst members of the group was to what extent PPE should be required since in some cases the protective clothing actually creates new safety issues.  

  • Colowyo Coal Mine is presently using ECS as consultancy for developing an arc flash protection program.


New Innovations

  • Alcoa used Arcpro software to aid in developing arc flash protection program.

  • www.Chickenswitch.com offers a remote mechanism for switching.

  • Barrick Goldstrike has new 4100 shovels…these have 68 yd. buckets that will more adequately match the capacity of their trucks, thereby increasing efficiency.


Technology / Solutions

  • Tire problems still an issue for all sites.  Several mines have implemented aggressive truck load guidelines, being very mindful of truck load weights through the use of software.  In addition, more attention is being paid to road conditions and reducing truck speed to decrease road wear.  The argument that ensues is that of tire preservation vs. productivity.

  • Barrick Goldstrike has worked with a local distributor, J&J Rubber Technology, to produce trail cable support straps that are used in place of the usual _____________.  To date, this has been very successful solution, resulting in significantly fewer strap failures.

  • Alcoa using new radio technology that enables them to successfully communicate inside tunnels.  The vendor is _____________.


Meeting Locations

  • San Antonio, TX and Shreveport, LA were proposed as future sites for WMEA meetings.


Future Topics

  • Given the current buzz in industry, a future topic should be the use of arc flash protection.  Ideally, the presenter would be a site that has gone through the process of creating and executing an arc flash protection program and is willing to give a status report on how the program is doing, what problems they’ve dealt with, etc.  In addition, vendors who deal in arc flash PPE should be invited to demonstrate their products, talk about how to care for them, the cost, etc.
















Group 4 Discussion




























Group 5 Discussion





















Group 6 Discussion






















Group 7 Discussion


  • Safety Manager: Nick Caspera (P&H)

    • currently doing some testing with prescription lens that connect directly to safety glasses.

  • Peabody: New reflective vests.



  • Bucyrus Erie: AC Conventional, same technology as 495.  New motor used across entire machine that can be mounted horizontal or vertical.  Will plug directly into existing gear cases.

  • Automation Electronics: New wireless standards.  Studies in co-existence of wireless systems.

  • P&H: New online training program to train new/existing employees in areas they need training.  The employee will take an online assessment to determine the areas where they need training.  May cause problem with employee taking assessment because that employee may think they will limit their possibilities if they don’t do well on the assessment.

  • Peabody: New fault indicators hung from powerlines to indicator the location of faults on the 69kV line.



  • Problem: Lack of workers/manpower to get large amounts of work done. 

  • Solution: Hold more job fairs (such as the fair in Michigan where a plant was shut down and workers looking for new jobs (Art Beyersdorf, P&H).  Also, perhaps send new techs, welders, etc. to schools for training in exchange for several years of service with the company that sent/paid for them to go to school.


  • Problem: Not enough promotion of mining/bad reputation due to recent disasters in mines back east.

  • Solution: Give more presentations to public/schools informing those people of the safety measures taken in mining and an overall education of mining in general (underground, open pit, shovels, draglines, etc.).  Overall, to try and improve the image of mining to attract more people.


  • Problem: Potential employees do not want to move to remote locations to work at mines.

  • Solution: Correlates with solutions listed above – offer more incentives to move to smaller towns (i.e. education, training, etc.)




  • Bucyrus: AC Conventional dragline and AC motors.

  • P&H: AC Shovels, basic shovel troubleshooting class (Danny Gojhkovich).

  • Helwig Carbon: Carbon brush training/school (Jay Koenitzer).

  • Someone to come in to talk about methods or give ideas on how to attract employees to the mining world.





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