Alabama Mining Association Presents Safety Awards

The Alabama Mining Association (AMA) announced the winners of the inaugural AMA Safety and Sustainability Awards. Winners were announced on Nov. 16 at the association’s first annual Safety and Sustainability Awards Dinner at The Club in Birmingham, Ala.

The winners were announced by members of the same panel of high-profile, independent judges that graded the award applications:

  • Samuel Pierce, Mine Safety and Health Administration (retired), Eastern District manager.
  • Fitzgerald Washington, Labor Secretary, Alabama Dept. of Labor.
  • Kathy H. Love, Alabama Surface Mining Commission, director.
  • Lance LeFleur, Alabama Department of Environmental Management, director.
  • Chris Blankenship, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, commissioner.
  • Tim Gothard, Alabama Wildlife Federation, executive director.

The stunning, one-of-a-kind awards were hand carved from Alabama-mined marble by famed sculptor Craigger Browne, a native of the Yellowhammer State.

AMA’s goal with the awards is to highlight examples of successful safety and sustainability initiatives in the mining industry and to publicly recognize the companies and individuals that made them possible.

Award winners were as follows:

Champion of Safety Award
  • James Christian, 43 years without a lost time accident.
  • James Lay, 43 years without a lost time accident.
  • Billy Millwood, 42 years without a lost time accident.
  • Randy Sellers, 29 years without a lost time accident.
  • Richard Dodd, 28 years without a lost time accident.
  • Billy Dorrough, 28 years without a lost time accident.
  • Randall Jenkins, 25 years without a lost time accident.
Exceptional Reclamation Award

Drummond Company – Development of Wetlands and Endangered Turtle Habitat on Pre-law Mined Land.

Exceptional Safety & Training Initiative Award

Bevill State Community College – Longwall Mining Training Center.

Land Stewardship Award

Warrior Met Coal – Mine #4 Wetland Conversion Project.

Lifetime Commitment to Stewardship Award

Dwight Hicks, (retired) director of reclamation and environmental compliance at Drummond Company.

Lifetime Dedication to Safety & Training Award

Jeffery Minor, safety and compliance engineer at Nelson Brothers.

Mitigation Excellence Award

Southland Resources – Mud Creek Mitigation Bank for Swann’s Crossing Mine.

Outstanding Safety & Training Leadership Award

Edward Boylen, vice president of safety at Warrior Met Coal.

Water Quality Stewardship Award

McWane – Excellent Compliance with Alabama’s Water Quality Standards.

Wildlife Conservation Award

Drummond Company – Wild Quail Restoration Project in Walker County.

President’s Community Safety Award

Argos Roberta Cement Plant – Argos Emergency Response Training Partnership with the Calera Fire Department.

President’s Commitment to Community Award

Vulcan Materials Co. – Annual Quarry Crusher Run at the Dolcito Quarry in Tarrant, Ala.

“These awards rightfully recognize the excellence of Alabama mining professionals, who work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of their colleagues and the communities in which they operate,” said Patrick Cagle, president of AMA. “Alabama’s modern mining industry places the health and safety of our people and local communities first, and this new award series highlights individuals and companies who go above-and-beyond to reflect the core values of sustainable, 21st century mining. On behalf of AMA, I’d like to congratulate this year’s winners. We are already looking forward to honoring a new class of projects and people in 2022.”

AMA is enthusiastically leading the effort to bring the concept of sustainable mining to the United States and is the first state association to establish a sustainable mining program. Focusing diligently on sustainability efforts at the state level allows AMA to help its members set constructive goals and achieve outcomes that are meaningful to the citizens of Alabama.

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