PITTSBURGH, March 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Four CONSOL Energy Inc. (NYSE: CNX) operations were recognized for their safety performance in 2012, receiving safety awards in both the surface and underground mine categories, through the West Virginia Mountaineer Guardian Awards program. The awards were presented during the 40th annual West Virginia Mining Symposium held in Charleston, WV, March 7. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120416/NE87957LOGO ) CONSOL Energy's McElroy Mine in Moundsville, W. Va., earned the Eustace E. Frederick Milestones of Safety Award, the top award for underground mine safety, recognizing it for the best safety performance among West Virginia underground mines in 2012. CONSOL's Peg Fork Surface Mine in Naugatuck, W. Va.; McElroy Mine's Ireland Loadout in Moundsville, W. Va.; and the Loveridge Mine in Fairview W. Va., each earned a Mountaineer Guardian award. "We are proud of the safety records achieved by our underground and surface operations in West Virginia which have been recognized through the Mountaineer Guardian Awards program," said J. Brett Harvey, CONSOL Energy chairman and CEO. "As we have previously noted, these recognitions are a credit to our employees and a reflection of not only CONSOL Energy's commitment to safety, but also of the personal commitment to safety held by each of our employees at these operations." Earlier in the day, during his keynote address at the symposium, CONSOL Energy President Nicholas J. DeIuliis noted while progress has been made by CONSOL and the rest of industry related to reductions in incident rates, the severity of accidents remains an obstacle. He called it a collective challenge requiring a collective solution. "The interests of industry, labor and government are aligned with the potential to work together, and we must," DeIuliis said. "Only if we align ourselves and cooperate can we correct the decisions and behaviors which lead to severe accidents."