Preferred Sands’ Environmental Health and Safety Manager to Present at the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s 2016 “Spring Thaw”

March 8, 2016

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RADNOR, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Preferred Sands, one of North America’s leading proppant technology companies, announced today that Dan Wicka, environmental health and safety manager at Preferred Sands of Wisconsin, LLC, is confirmed to speak at the Mine Safety and Health Administration’s (MSHA) 2016 “Spring Thaw” conference on March 10, 2016 at the Chippewa Valley Technical College Energy Education Center in Eau Claire, Wis. Wicka will present Preferred Sands’ recently developed approach to workplace examinations and safety inspections, a method the company is revolutionizing through the use of technology and web-based programs.

The MSHA requires that all mines perform examinations prior to each shift, a time consuming process usually conducted by an operator or utility using paper forms. In a pioneering move, Preferred Sands recently began using iPads and the iAuditor app, which automatically saves data on the cloud and allows for real time review of exams. The system also features images of workplace hazards, time stamped examinations and bar code scans to ensure all inspection requirements are met. Preferred Sands of Wisconsin is the first mine in the region to utilize this approach to safety inspections.

“Preferred Sands has always prioritized worker safety, and we are proud to share our technological approach to workplace examinations, which we developed as a way to streamline daily safety reviews to better protect our employees,” said Wicka. “I look forward to speaking with representatives of sand and mining companies, especially during this critical time of year when workplace accidents typically rise as mining operations increase production and hire new employees. Worker safety is our top priority, and we are thrilled to be recognized by the MSHA as a leader in mining safety innovation.”

The MSHA’s “Spring Thaw” conference offers a series of training workshops to increase awareness of mining hazards ahead of the spring season when many intermittently operated mines resume production. Mining operations frequently hire seasonal employees who may be new to the mining environment, and educational outreach and training is critical to employee safety. Wicka will be joined by additional safety professionals from mining companies, associations and the MSHA, who will cover a range of health and safety topics. The conference will be led by Bill Soderlind, Department of Labor field office supervisor.

Wicka has more than 15 years of public service and environmental health and safety experience, having served as Environmental Health and Safety Coordinator for the City of Winona, Minn. and Mayor of Buffalo City, Wis., before joining Preferred Sands as Environmental Health and Safety Manager.

For more information about Preferred Sands, please visit

About Preferred Sands

Preferred Sands is a leading provider of innovative technologies that set the standards for well production, efficiency, and sustainability within the hydraulic fracturing industry. Preferred’s innovative proppant technology solutions include Preferred Polymeric Proppants, the most advanced downhole coated proppant technology designed for maximum production efficiency, FloPRO PTT™, proppant transport technology designed for superior proppant distribution and increased production, and DustPRO™, the first dust prevention technology designed to reduce airborne particles during all sand transfer points. These pioneering product developments have earned Preferred recognition as a world leader in innovative and sustainable technologies throughout the oil and gas, chemical, and technology industries.

The company’s various awards include the 2014 CPI Polyurethane Innovation Award for Improving Oil Productivity; 2014 R&D 100 Award for Improving Oil Productivity; 2013 Oil & Gas Awards for Environmental Initiative of the Year, Industry Supplier of the Year, and Excellence in Environmental Stewardship; and 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Energy, Cleantech, and Natural Resources.

Category: Oil & Gas