Injury-free Record Earns Henderson Mine Top Industry Award
October 13, 2023 – The injury-free safety record last year of the Henderson mine, located 42 miles west of Denver, Colo., has been recognized with a Sentinels of Safety Award, a prestigious industry honor presented by the National Mining Association.
The mine operation’s employees recorded no reportable injuries in 2022. In fact, it had none from late 2021 until February 2023, a 17-month span of success that site leaders credit to Henderson’s emphasis on working safely.
The Henderson mine, which is judged separately from the mill at the Colorado site, was named the top performer in the Underground Metals Group category. The annual Sentinels of Safety award recognizes coal and mineral mining operations in 10 categories for recording the most hours in a calendar year without a single lost-time employee injury. A minimum of 4,000 injury-free hours is required to even be considered. In 2022, the mine had 488,000 hours without injury with an average of about 240 employees. Only injuries to employees, and not contractors, are considered in judging the award.
“Safety is the first and most important value we hold at Freeport,” said Michael Kendrick, President-Climax Molybdenum. “The Henderson mine is fully committed to this value, and the team at Henderson exemplifies this value in everything they do. It takes everyone on site working together in a disciplined and dedicated way to earn an award like this. I am very proud that the people at Henderson have earned this award.”
The company’s practice that every worker is empowered to stop a job over safety concerns is emphasized to all employees, said Dave Loring, Mine Manager-Henderson.
“Our folks really are empowered to stop work, ask questions and get help if there are safety concerns,” Loring said. “It’s important for them to go home safe. That is important to all of us.”
While the Sentinels of Safety Award recognizes only the record of employees on the mine side at Henderson, the same expectations and commitment to worker safety apply to the mill and other operations, as well as contractors, Loring said.
The Sentinels of Safety Award was initiated in 1925 by then Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover, a former mining engineer and future president. It remains the nation’s most prestigious recognition of mine safety and has helped foster a strong safety commitment on the part of U.S. mines. Other company sites have earned this award in previous years with the most recent being Chino in 2020.
Photos (left to right): : Dave Loring, right, talks with Paul Goodman, Mobile Equipment Diagnostic Mechanic, during a recent walkthrough of the Henderson mine; The Henderson mine manages the hazards of working underground with a strong safety culture.