Winners of the Sentinels of Safety, mining''s most prestigious safety award, were announced by the National Mining Association (NMA) and the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), cosponsors of the national Safety program.
Winners of the competition represent operations in eight industry categories that worked the most employee-hours in 1999 without suffering a lost-time injury.
To qualify for the award, a mine must complete at least 30,000 employee work-hours during the year without a lost-time injury or fatality.
This year''s winners, representing mining operations in Arizona, Illinois, Missouri, Nevada, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and Wyoming will be honored at an awards luncheon in conjunction with NMA''s Mine Expo International 2000 in Las Vegas, Nev., Oct. 9.
"The mining professionals who work at these operations are to be congratulated for their diligence in making their mines safer places to work. These men and women truly exemplify the U.S. mining industry''s continued and continuing dedication to safety," said NMA President and CEO Richard Lawson.
He noted that some of this year''s winners are new, while others, particularly in the surface coal, quarry, open pit and underground metal categories, have won several times, in one instance as many as four previous times.
The Sentinels of Safety award, first announced by former President Herbert Hoover in 1925, is designed to promote greater interest in mine safety and the development of more effective accident prevention programs.
"The winners of this year''s Sentinels of Safety award have soundly demonstrated they won''t sacrifice safety in the name of production," said MSHA Administrator Davitt McAteer. "Their workforce represents a team of individuals who look out for themselves and for one another. They understand that the biggest payoff is returning home safely at the end of the work day."
First-place winners and their numbers of consecutive employee-hours recorded in each of the sponsored mining categories are as follows:
Underground Coal Group
Kingston No. 1 Mine, Kingston Mining, Scarbro, W.V.
Surface Coal Group
Cordero Mine, Cordero Mining Co., Gillette, Wyo.
Underground Metal Group
Sweetwater Mine/Mill, The Doe Run Co., Reynolds, Mo.
Underground Nonmetal Group
Locust Cove Mine, United States Gypsum Co., Saltville, Va.
Open Pit Group
Phelps Dodge Sierrita, Phelps Dodge Sierrita Inc., Green Valley, Ariz.
Thornton Quarry, Material Service Corp., Thornton, Ill.
Bank or Pit Group
Briggs Plant, Fordyce Co., Victoria, Texas
by Virginia Sutcliffe