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MSHA News Release: [09/19/2007]
Contact: Matthew Faraci          Amy Louviere
Phone:    (202) 693-9406   (202) 693-9423
Release Number 07-1440-NAT


U.S. Department of Labor's MSHA and National Mining Association recognize 19 mining operations as 'Sentinels of Safety'
Operations in Georgia and Missouri take awards for third year in a row


ARLINGTON, Va. - ARLINGTON, Va. - Nineteen mining operations have been recognized for outstanding 2006 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 third year in a row, J.M. Huber Corp.'s Sandersville Mill of Sandersville, Ga., and Mississippi Lime Co.'s Peerless Mine of Sainte 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 2006 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 19 winners worked a combined total of almost 2.7 million hours in 2006 without a lost-time injury.

"Showcasing examples of good safety programs is very important," said Richard E. Stickler, assistant secretary of labor for MSHA. "Such recognition encourages safe operations to continue their best practices and shows the rest of the mining industry that it is indeed possible to run safe mining operations every day of the year."

Stickler addressed representatives from the winning companies during an awards ceremony today in Washington.

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.

Competition winners and mining operations recognized for their safety records in 2006 are listed on the Web at www.msha.gov/SentinelsofSafety/Awards/2007Sentinel/2007sentinelsofsafety.asp.


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