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Lucky Friday Workers Set Safety Record

Workers at North Idaho’s Lucky Friday silver and lead mine have completed 377 consecutive days without a serious accident, an unprecedented string of safety for the mile-deep operation.

Not since Dec. 19, 1994, officials said, has an employee been forced off the job because of an accident, giving the Mullan, Idaho, mine its safest period in 56 years.

The Lucky Friday, however, employs fewer people than in previous years. About 160 people mine the unit, down from an all-time peak of 300 in 1980 when there were 60 serious accidents. One worker was killed in 1986 by an explosive rock burst.

Lucky Friday unit manager Tom Fudge attributed the safety record to a change in employees’ attitude and safer mining methods introduced during the past 15 years.

Twice a year, employees take safety courses, a company statement said. In 1995, the Lucky Friday, operated by Hecla Mining Co. of Coeur d’Alene, introduced a safety audit program to monitor workers for safety practices. , DataTimes

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