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MSHA News Release: [10/28/2009]
Contact: Amy Louviere
Phone: 202-693-9423
Release Number 09-1314-NAT

MSHA recognizes mining operations for outstanding safety records in 2008
20 operations worked nearly 2.7 million hours without a lost-time injury

ARLINGTON, Va. - Twenty mining operations have been honored for their outstanding 2008 safety records in the annual Sentinels of Safety awards program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Mining Association.

Mining companies in various operational categories were recognized for achieving the greatest number of employee work hours in 2008 without a fatal injury or an injury that resulted in lost workdays (NFDL) and also had a no-workdays-lost (NDL) incidence rate below the national average for their respective groups. To qualify, a company had to compile at least 4,000 employee work hours during the year. The 20 winning companies collectively amassed 2,695,201 work hours without a lost-time or restricted duty injury.

"These award winners are leading by example, and they are leading the way to a safer mining industry," said Joseph A. Main, assistant secretary of labor for mine safety and health. "Recognizing these operations for outstanding safety programs shows the rest of the industry that it is possible to run mining operations safely every day of the year."

Sentinels of Safety is the oldest established award for occupational safety. The first award was announced by President Herbert Hoover - a former mining engineer - when he was secretary of commerce in 1925. The annual safety competition continues today.

First place winners and their numbers of consecutive employee hours recorded in each of the sponsored mining categories are as follows:

Large Underground Coal Group
Dominion #36, Dominion Coal Corp., Whitewood, Va., 176,554 hours

Small Underground Coal Group
Clas #4, Clas Coal Co. Inc., Kite, Ky., 64,156 hours

Large Surface Coal Group
Surface Mine #2, Fola Coal Co. LLC., Bickmore, W.Va., 678,732 hours.

Small Surface Coal Group
North Surface Mine, Alex Energy Inc, Holden, W.Va., 39,006 hours

Large Coal Processing Facility Group
Chess Processing, Elk Run Coal Co. Inc., Sylvester, W.Va., 154,614 hours

Small Coal Processing Facility Group
Chesterfield Prep Plant, Omar Mining Co., Madison, W.Va., 28,077 hours

Large Underground Metal Group
Barrick Cortez Underground, Cortez Joint Venture, Crescent Valley, Nev., 85,208 hours

Small Underground Metal Group
Resolution Mine, Resolution Copper Mining, Superior, Ariz., 52,348 hours

Large Underground Nonmetal Group
The Detroit Salt Mine, Detroit Salt Co. LLC, Detroit, Mich., 97,132 hours

Small Underground Nonmetal Group
New York Mine, Imerys Marble Inc., Marble Hill, Ga., 40,478 hours

Large Open Pit Group
Dry Valley Mine, URS Washington Division, Soda Springs, Idaho, 241,185 hours

Small Open Pit Group
Kaufman-George Pit, New NGC Inc., Ft. Dodge, Iowa, 14,479 hours

Large Quarry Group
Three Rivers Quarry, Martin Marietta Materials Inc., Smithland, Ky., 197,795 hours

Small Quarry Group
South Ridge Granite Quarries, South Ridge Granite Quarries Inc. Comer, Ga., 13,374 hours

Large Dredge Group
Briggs Plant, Fordyce Holdings Inc., Victoria, Texas, 188,463 hours

Small Dredge Group
Garland Aggregates, IA Construction - Franklin, Pa., 10,531 hours

Large Bank or Pit Group
ISP Granule Products, LLC, ISP Granule Products, LLC, Ione, Calif., 140,639 hours

Small Bank or Pit Group
Big Red Dirt Farm, Big Red Dirt Farm LLC. Fayetteville, Ark., 9,627 hours

Large Metal Nonmetal Mill Group
Edgar Plant, BASF Catalysts LLC. McIntyre Ga., 438,023 hours

Small Metal Nonmetal Mill Group
Dixie Lee Quarry, Vulcan Construction Materials L.P. Inc., Concord, Tenn., 24,780 hours

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