Robert Phillips, acting deputy assistant secretary for operations, MSHA, also paid tribute to this year’s Sentinels winners at a luncheon ceremony in Washington hosted by the NMA. Sentinels of Safety winners are mines that have worked the most employee hours in each category 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.
The awards were initiated in 1925 by then-Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover and remain the nation’s most prestigious awards recognizing safety in both coal and mineral mines. Award winners are chosen from categories that reflect the type and the size of mines, both surface and underground.

The 2009 Sentinels of Safety Award winners are:
Large Company Award Winners    
Coal Processing Facility:
•    Wells Preparation Plant, Eastern Associated Coal LLC, Patriot Coal Corp., Wharton, W.Va.    
Surface Coal:
•    Farmersburg Mine, Peabody Midwest Mining, Peabody Energy, Pimento, Ind.    
Underground Coal:
•    Shamrock No. 18 Series, Shamrock Coal Co., Inc., Hyden, Ky.

Small Company Award Winners    
Coal Processing Facility:
•    CEF Alabama No. 3, Covol Engineered Fuels, Headwaters, Inc., Adger, Ala.    
Surface Coal:
•    No. 1 Strip Mine, Jamieson Construction Co. Inc., Calvin, Ky.    
Underground Coal:
•    Corinth Mine, Warrior Investment Co. Inc., Cordova, Ala.