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Recognition: Sentinels of Safety, Southwest Stone and SUFCO mine

Jeff Sagers receives the Sentinels of Safety award from MSHA for his company, Southwest Stone, Inc. in Ferron.

"Sentinels of Safety" Awards Honor Outstanding Safety Performance at U.S. Mines.

The U.S. Department of Labor and the National Mining Association recognized 20 U.S. mines for their outstanding safety record in 2010.

The "Sentinels of Safety," awarded annually to the nation's safest mines with a minimum of 4,000 injury-free hours, were presented this year to six coal mines and 14 mineral mines by the Department of Labor's Mine Safety and Health Administration.

"The mines we honor symbolize U.S. mining's continuing efforts to make our industry the safest in the world," said NMA President and CEO Hal Quinn. "They serve as an inspiration to the entire industry for achieving that goal."

Joe Main, assistant secretary of labor for the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, also paid tribute to this year's Sentinels winners at a luncheon ceremony in Washington, D.C., hosted by NMA.

This year's Sentinels winners are just a few among the many other U.S. mines that operated throughout 2010 without a single lost-time injury. In 2010, 87 percent of U.S. mines operated without a lost-time injury. Sustaining year-to-year improvements in mine safety has become the top priority for U.S. mining.

Sentinels of Safety awards were initiated in 1925 by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover and remain the nation's most prestigious awards recognizing mining safety.

The winners are mines that have worked the most employee hours in 10 categories without suffering a lost-time injury. A minimum of 4,000 hours without a lost-time accident is required for award consideration, a requirement met by many more mines than were award winners.

Award winners are chosen from categories that reflect the type and the size of mines, both surface and underground. The 2010 Sentinels of Safety award winners from the local area include:

Large Company Award Winners: Underground Coal - SUFCO, Canyon Fuel Company, Arch Coal, Inc., Salina, Utah

Small Company Award Winners: Quarry - Reef Mine, Southwest Stone, Inc., Ferron, Utah.

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