Company sites win top safety award

Raccoon River Sand wins back-to-back Sentinels of Safety Awards; Midlothian Cement stands out in Texas

The Sentinels of Safety Award is one of the industry’s oldest and most prestigious honors and represents the pinnacle of safety excellence in the mining industry. 

The Sentinels of Safety Award is one of the industry’s oldest and most prestigious honors and represents the pinnacle of safety excellence in the mining industry. 

Winning one is remarkable; winning twice in back-to-back years is beyond impressive. 

“This is a tremendous accomplishment. It was very exciting to hear this news and wonderful to know that the team was recognized for its efforts,” said Regional Production Manager Ryan Bender after learning of Raccoon River's consecutive awards. 

Last year, Raccoon River Sand and two other Central Division sites won the prestigious award, which is presented annually by The National Mining Association (NMA) to mining operations across the country with a minimum of 4,000 injury-free hours. 

This year, 20 mining operations – six coal mines and 14 mineral/metal mines – were honored with the award, which recognizes 2022 performance. 

“Everything that happens in and around a mine happens with a rigorous safety mindset,” said Rich Nolan, NMA president and CEO, in a statement. “From the miners on the ground to their managers and beyond, safety is an area that requires constant vigilance. Today’s honorees represent our industry’s best; they’ve raised the bar for others, and I look forward to seeing the example they’ve set replicated across industry.” 

Bender said a key reason Raccoon River was able to earn the award twice in consecutive years is because its team members take safety “seriously and personally.” 

“They ensure that people who join the team know the expectations and ensure people are using the correct tools to complete tasks. This includes SLAMs, workplace exams, pre-shifts and observations,” he said. “This shows the team’s commitment level and care for each other.” 

Safety is the first of Martin Marietta’s core company values. 

When Todd Clock, regional vice president-general manager, heard Raccoon River had earned the award again, he was amazed. 

“It’s humbling to receive this award once; however, back-to-back is an honor that is challenging to put into words, and it speaks loudly to the team’s commitment to working safely,” he said. 

Clock added that this sort of achievement illustrates the power of Martin Marietta's companywide safety culture. 

From left to right, Raccoon River’s Andy Davis, Landon Myer and Brent Corkrean, and Midlothian Cement’s Alberto Calleros and Don Cribbs accept their Sentinels of Safety honors during a ceremony in Washington, D.C. on Oct. 13.

“I believe our commitment to the Guardian Angel Creed and being a Great Wingman has evolved into a culture that is not found at other companies, and it empowers people to do the right thing all of the time – even when others are not present or looking,” Clock said. 

But Raccoon River is not the only site celebrating an NMA win. 

The Southwest Division‘s Midlothian Cement holds the second Sentinels of Safety Award Martin Marietta won this year. 

“I was thrilled when I heard our employees had won the award. The crew at Midlothian Cement is always raising the bar on safety here,” said Don Cribbs, safety manager. 

This is the first time the site has won the award in almost four decades. 

“We have employees who have been at this plant for a long, long time. Some have been here 40, even 50 years. Many were here the last time we won this same award in 1984,” he said, “They’ll tell you our goal is to always get better and better as part of our continuous improvement process.” 

Like his peers in the Central Division, Cribbs said he was humbled to be part of a team recognized with this award, which he said shows the dedication to safety and employee well-being found in Martin Marietta's Wingman culture. 

“For me, being a Wingman means having a zero-harm mentality. I want the guys asking, ‘How can we complete every job without so much as a scratch or a bruise?’ Everyone here understands that they are part of a legacy of safety that has been handed down to them from those whose shoulders we stand on today,” Cribbs said. “We have a great team here at Midlothian Cement that works together to make it all happen 24/7, 365 days a year.” 

Vice President of Safety and Health Michael Hunt said the impact of two sites winning from different divisions in the same year is extraordinary. 

“When we look at safety and know it is everyone’s responsibility, that is when we perform our best,” Hunt said. “I cannot fully express my pride in Raccoon River Sand and Midlothian Cement. Together, they have shown how strongly we take safety at Martin Marietta. They continue to serve as excellent examples for teams across our company.” 

The crew at Midlothian Cement celebrates its Sentinels of Safety Award.