Miners Are ‘Everyday Heroes’ At Safety Conference

SOCORRO, N.M. April 29, 2013 – Macey Center will once again host the annual New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference, May 6-8. The 2013 theme is “Everyday Heroes.”

State Mine Inspector Terence Foreback said, “We want everyone to be a safety hero at work and at home every day. Each time a miner performs a job the safe way, and every time they keep a coworker from performing an unsafe action, they are a HERO! We find too often that, while we are concerned for our personal safety, we are reluctant to extend our caring to others in the work force.”


Drew Dix

Keynote speaker

This year’s speaker lineup will emphasize this theme, beginning with the miners’ dinner on Monday, May 6. the guest speaker is Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient Drew Dix who will speak of the importance of watching out for your brothers and sisters in the military and the relationship with workers in an industrial setting. Foreback said he is excited that Dix agreed to accept the invitation to speak at the conference and thinks the message will be spot on.

As a Special Forces Sergeant, during his first tour in Vietnam detailed to the CIA, Dix was awarded the Medal of Honor and became the first enlisted man in the U.S. Army Special Forces to receive the Medal of Honor.

Drew is the co-founder of the “Center for American Values” in Pueblo, Colo., where he serves as the Board Chairman. He continues to be very active with the military, speaking to those deploying and/or returning from deployment and is heavily engaged with TriWest Healthcare Alliance and the Department of Defense on matters pertaining to Post Traumatic stress & Traumatic Brain Injury.

Health will also be stressed at this year’s conference. Healthy employees contribute at higher levels to an organization’s success. Events will include free health screenings by the Miners’ Colfax Mobile Unit and a free health fair with health care professionals from the mining industry.

This is the sixth year that mining professionals will congregate at New Mexico Tech for the annual New Mexico Mine Health and Safety Conference. Foreback said he expects this year’s event to be more successful then the highly attended conferences of the past.


C.J. Huff

Joplin, Mo., mayor

“We had 200 participants last year and are hoping for a better turnout this year,” he said. “We have excellent guest speakers and a series of important, informative breakout session topics.”

The New Mexico Bureau of Mine Safety, a department of New Mexico Tech, provides professional services to the state and its miners. Foreback has served as State Mine Inspector for six years.

This year’s conference continues to expand and improve on the quality of the presentation and speakers, Foreback said. Sessions are planned on three tracks: leadership, strategies and practice to appeal to the diverse nature of participants. Expected attendees are members of the hourly work force, management, safety pros, and regulators.

“We’re trying to draw a cross-section of the more than 6,000 people employed in the mining industry in New Mexico, to bring together different parts of mining organizations to work on mine health and safety issues,” Foreback said.

The conference theme “Everyday Heros” gives a nod to topics important to the industry that can be taken back to mining operations to further their safety success.

Most of the events take place at Macey Center, including three meals which are included in the $100 price of the conference. Those interested may get information and registration forms by calling the Bureau of Mine Safety at (575) 835-5460.

The conference opens at 9 a.m. Monday with exhibitor setup. Monday afternoon’s schedule is devoted to special programs and recreation including four hour sessions on back safety, one on first aid, and a golf tournament at 11:30 a.m.

A special Miner’s Lunch Bucket dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. at Macey Center. A cocktail hour will precede dinner with entertainment by Socorro’s Los Legends.


Bruce Watzman

National Mining Assoc.

The Tuesday morning keynote speaker is C. J. Huff, EdD, Superintendent of Joplin Public Schools. Dr. Huff is a distinguished educator and inspirational leader who restored hope to the community of Joplin, Mo., after one of the most devastating tornadoes in history. Dr. C.J. Huff embodies the resilience needed to overcome adversity and the leadership necessary to turn tragedy into triumph.

A spouse tour promises to be very entertaining on Tuesday morning. An African cooking school will be conducted by Chartwell’s Chef Hussan. Participants can learn some of the chef’s secrets to the foods of Africa.

Another guest speaker Foreback is excited to have return to our Conference is Bruce Watzman, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs with the National Mining Association. Mr. Watzman is going to speak on the NMA CORESaftey program.

Wednesday’s opening session begins at 8 a.m. followed by break-out sessions and adjournment at noon.

Foreback was reappointed as State Mine Inspector in 2011 by Governor Martinez. Foreback previously worked for the Mining and Minerals Division of the New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, following 26 years in private mining industry.

This year’s conference committee includes representatives of the Bureau of Mine Safety, representatives of New Mexico’s mining industries, and members of New Mexico State Agencies.

  NMT –