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MSHA News Release: [09/21/2006]
Contact: Dirk Fillpot          Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 06-1627-NAT

U.S. Department of Labor's MSHA and National Mining Association Recognize 20 Mining Operations as "Sentinels of Safety"
Operations from Georgia and Missouri are Repeat Winners

WASHINGTON - Twenty mining operations have been recognized for outstanding 2005 safety records in the annual Sentinels of Safety awards program jointly sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association.

For the second year in a row, J.M. Huber Corp.'s Sandersville Mill of Sandersville, Ga., and Mississippi Lime Co.'s Peerless Mine of Ste. Genevieve, Mo., have won the safety award in their respective categories.

Mining companies in various operational categories were recognized for achieving the greatest number of employee work-hours in 2005 without a fatal injury or an injury that resulted in lost workdays. To qualify, a company was required to compile at least 4,000 employee work hours during the year. This year's 20 winners worked a combined total of almost 2.5 million hours in 2005 without a lost-time injury.

"The winners of the 2005 Sentinels of Safety are truly champions of safety in the mining industry, and have played a significant role in the achievements this industry has made," said David G. Dye, MSHA's acting administrator. "They have demonstrated that in such a dynamic industry it is indeed possible to work safely, and to send employees home at the end of every shift in a healthy and safe condition."

Dye addressed representatives from the winning companies during an awards ceremony at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, D.C.

The Sentinels of Safety award is the oldest established award for occupational safety. The first one was announced by President Herbert Hoover - a former mining engineer - when he was Secretary of Commerce in 1925. The annual safety competition has continued to this day.

Attached is a complete list of first-place winners, along with mining operations with exceptional safety records.

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