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MSHA Officials Tour Maryland Cement Operation; Commend Strong Safety Record

  • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations Laura McClintock, left, and Assistant Secretary Joe Main, right look over Lehigh’s Union Bridge operation with USW Miners’ Representative Steve Keeney.
    Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations Laura McClintock, left, and Assistant Secretary Joe Main, right look over Lehigh’s Union Bridge operation with USW Miners’ Representative Steve Keeney.
  • Assistant Secretary Main and Harvey Kirk of MSHA at Lehigh's 4.7 mile New Windsor to Union Bridge cut-and-cover belt conveyor tunnel construction project.
    View of Lehigh's Union Bridge Quarry, as seen from atop the plant's 480-foot high kiln preheater tower. This limestone quarry is 1-3/4 miles long and over 400 feet deep.
  • Crane and concrete forming and pumping placement work at Lehigh's 4.7 mile New Windsor to Union Bridge cut-and-cover belt conveyor tunnel construction project.
    Crane and concrete forming and pumping placement work at Lehigh's 4.7 mile New Windsor to Union Bridge cut-and-cover belt conveyor tunnel construction project.
  • From left: Lehigh Vice President of Cement Operations-North Region Dan Fritz, MSHA Northeast District Manager Peter Montali, MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock, Lehigh Safety Manager Andy Rigler and Lehigh Area Manager-Safety and Health Nathan Kimble, observing construction of the tunnel project.
    From left: Lehigh Vice President of Cement Operations-North Region Dan Fritz, MSHA Northeast District Manager Peter Montali, MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock, Lehigh Safety Manager Andy Rigler and Lehigh Area Manager-Safety and Health Nathan Kimble, observing construction of the tunnel project.
  • Assistant Secretary Main and Deputy Assistant Secretary McClintock confer with Lehigh officials at construction of Lehigh's 4.7 mile New Windsor to Union Bridge cut-and-cover belt conveyor tunnel project.
    Assistant Secretary Main and Deputy Assistant Secretary McClintock confer with Lehigh officials at construction of Lehigh's 4.7 mile New Windsor to Union Bridge cut-and-cover belt conveyor tunnel project.
  • Employees of Lehigh’s Union Bridge operation with Assistant Secretary Main, center.
    Employees of Lehigh’s Union Bridge operation with Assistant Secretary Main, center.
  • Standing from left: USW Local Union President John Keyser, MSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Main, MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock, and MSHA Metal/Nonmetal Administrator Neal Merrifield observe central control room operations at Lehigh Cement Company’s Union Bridge, MD plant.Standing from left: USW Local Union President John Keyser, MSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Main, MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock, and MSHA Metal/Nonmetal Administrator Neal Merrifield observe central control ro
    Standing from left: USW Local Union President John Keyser, MSHA Assistant Secretary Joe Main, MSHA Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock, and MSHA Metal/Nonmetal Administrator Neal Merrifield observe central control room operations at Lehigh Cement Company’s Union Bridge, MD plant.
  • View of Lehigh's Union Bridge Quarry, as seen from atop the plant's 480-foot high kiln preheater tower.  This limestone quarry is 1-3/4 miles long and over 400 feet deep.
    View of Lehigh's Union Bridge Quarry, as seen from atop the plant's 480-foot high kiln preheater tower. This limestone quarry is 1-3/4 miles long and over 400 feet deep.
Event Date: 
November 20, 2015

MSHA Assistant Secretary Joseph Main, Deputy Assistant Secretary Laura McClintock and Metal and Nonmetal Administrator Neal Merrifield met on November 20, 2015, with representatives of Lehigh Cement Company at the company’s Union Bridge, MD, portland cement plant, a 2.2 million ton per year facility that employs nearly 180 miners.  Plant Manager Kent Martin, Safety Manager Andy Rigler and United Steel Workers Miners’ Representative Steve Keeney provided an overview of the plant’s safety accomplishments over the past several years and credited a strong union-management team approach that enabled them to forge 831 days of lost workday-free work, and a much-reduced MSHA violation record.

Lehigh cites as its biggest production challenge the depletion of stone resources in its current quarry, the opening of a new quarry in New Windsor with over 80 years of stone reserves, and transportation logistics of the nearly 12,000 tons of stone that must be delivered each day to the plant in Union Bridge, over 4.5 miles away.  After considering over-the-road trucking, rail transportation and overland conveyor options, Lehigh decided that the best choice for both the community and the company was to construct a 4.7-mile belt conveyor system, which is now under construction by Pittsburgh general contractor J.B. Fay.  The conveyor will be situated primarily at-grade, but will include underground sections through an agricultural preservation area and under several public roadways.  Only a small percentage of the conveyor will be elevated.  As part of his visit, Assistant Secretary Main viewed the underground conveyor cut-and-cover conveyor tunnel construction work and discussed progress with J.B. Fay supervisors Scott Wilson, Ed Chaney and Hugh Hynes.  Mr. Main also observed and discussed plant operations in the main control room and 480-feet high preheater tower with USW Local 8-00031 President John Keyser.

Assistant Secretary Joseph Main concluded his visit recognizing everyone for their outstanding safety record and remembering miners who have lost their lives throughout our nation’s history.  Neal Merrifield congratulated all plant employees on their team work, and encouraged them to share their story of safety success with others.

Also representing MSHA were Northeast District Manager Peter Montali, Assistant District Manager Dennis Yesko and Arlington Safety Division member Harvey Kirk, a former Union Bridge Production and Safety Engineer.  Also representing Lehigh were Vice President of Cement Operations-North Region Dan Fritz, Corporate Safety and Health Director Randy Mucha, Area Manager-Safety and Health Nathan Kimble, Assistant Plant Manager Jeremy Luckin, Purchasing Manager Bruce Schott, Plant Accountant Mike Kreimer, and Public Relations Director Vince Campanella.