SOMERSET, Colo., Oct. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Arch Coal, Inc. (NYSE:ACI) today announced that its Mountain Coal Company's West Elk mine employees surpassed 2 million hours worked without a lost-time safety incident on September 24. The safety record was achieved over 29 months. (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120727/CG47668LOGO) "This is the first time in the history of West Elk's mining operations that we've achieved such a landmark," said Jim Miller, West Elk general manager. Miller credited the achievements to employees' continued commitment to focusing on prevention as part of a behavior-based safety process. "It is an impressive accomplishment that reflects the collective efforts of the entire West Elk workforce," Miller said. "Most importantly, these accomplishments have allowed us to deliver on our true goal – ensuring that the entire team goes home safely every day." In addition to the record-setting safety performance this year, West Elk mine also announced that its red mine rescue team was named the Colorado state champion at the National Coal Mine Rescue Competition. Also, West Elk employee Ty Odle took home first-place state and national honors in the Biopak 240S category. Eighty-seven teams and 800 individuals from 13 states participated in the competition, held last month in Columbus, Ohio. "Mine safety competitions help our employees hone their skills and gauge how they stack up against others," Miller said of the all-volunteer group. "Our teams practice year round to ensure they stay prepared, and we are quite proud of their achievements." U.S.-based Arch Coal, Inc. is one of the world's top coal producers for the global steel and power generation industries, serving customers on five continents. Its network of mining complexes is the most diversified in the United States, spanning every major coal basin in the nation. The company controls more than 5 billion tons of high-quality metallurgical and thermal coal reserves, with access to all major railroads, inland waterways and a growing number of seaborne trade channels. Arch maintained its peer-leading position in the U.S. coal industry for safety performance for the seventh consecutive year in 2012. Arch's 2012 lost-time safety rate was one-third the national coal industry average. For more information, visit www.archcoal.com.