The Saline County mine received the honor for its record as the safest U.S. performance for surface operations last calendar year. It is a three-time winner of the President’s Award, having already achieved the best safety performance for Peabody Energy surface mines in 2012 and 2013.

Employees have operated free of a reportable incident since July 2011. In 2014, the 200-strong Cottage Grove crew worked more than 437,500 hours.

The Chairman’s Award for Safety Excellence, created in 2013, recognizes employees at operations who end a calendar year with zero reportable incidents.  

“Our goal is for all workers to go home safely each day, and Cottage Grove employees have consistently met that benchmark for 41 months,” said Peabody Energy-Americas President Kemal Williamson.

John Keller, operations manager at Cottage Grove, said that strong communication and looking out for one another are hallmarks of the complex’s safety culture. He credited his team’s success to strong camaraderie and a commitment to safety innovation. “The awards bring recognition for what I witness every day amongst our workforce. Our team prides itself on safety both in the workplace, at home, and in our communities,” he said.