Department of Labor and Industry

Governor's Safety and Health Awards

2010 Award Winners


The Governor's Awards for Health and Safety are the highest honor given by the State of Montana in recognition of health and safety excellence.

Winners were recognized at a formal awards ceremony during the Annual Governor's Conference on Workers Compensation and Occupational Safety & Health and were presented with a plaque for display at the work site. The Lt. Governor and the Commissioner of Labor presented the 2010 awards.

Loveland Products, Billings, MT

Loveland Products Inc. employs approximately 50 full-time employees, and is an agricultural chemical manufacturing facility. Operations include formulation and packaging of liquid herbicides.

2010 Corporate Winner
  • Continually develop and maintain positive safety culture
  • Solid management commitment and employee buy-in
  • Achieved many goals using SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Result oriented, Time-framed
  • Extensive, comprehensive training including refresher training
  • Required attendance at monthly safety meetings
  • Active safety committee
  • Thorough monthly self audits
  • Safety accounts for about 20% of performance evaluations
  • 872 days without OSHA Recordable and 1318 days without a Lost Time injury (through the end of August)
  • Applied for SHARP – OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program

Small Private
West Paw Design, Bozeman, MT

West Paw Design has 32 employees and manufactures world class pet products including toys, beds, and apparel encouraging innovative designs. West Paw believes in making a positive impact with commitment to safety and health of employees, the community, and the environment. They use materials from Montana companies, use recycled boxes and plastic, and they recycle all waste contributing nothing to the landfill.

Small Private Award Winner
  • Continues to grow a positive culture
  • Open forum type of communication
  • Very involved and dedicated workforce at all levels
  • Employee involvement
  • Routinely address ergonomic issues
  • No lost time accidents in 2009

Large Public
Yellowstone County, Billings, MT

Yellowstone County has 22 departments in 8 locations, with 450 regular full-time and regular part time employees. "The mission of Yellowstone County is to improve the function of County government, to serve its citizens and the region, as efficiently and cost effectively as possible, through the joint efforts of our employees and leadership."

Large Public Award Winner
  • Positive safety culture buy-in & commitment
  • Thorough accident/incident investigations
  • Thorough and comprehensive training including refresher training
  • Safety & Health Fact sheets available on website
  • Wellness programs – "Focus on Fitness"
  • An emphasis on off job as well as on job safety
  • A dramatic decrease in recordable injuries from 2008 to 2009
  • Employees are "informed, empowered, aware, and ultimately safe."

Large Mining
Absaloka Mine, Westmoreland Resources Inc

The Absaloka mine is a surface sub-bituminous coal mine with 170 employees and produces approximately 6 million tons of coal annually.

Large Mining Award Winner
  • Strong commitment by management and workers
  • Extensive training including orientation, job specific, refresher
  • Comprehensive safety manual
  • Active safety committee
  • Safety award program
  • Report and investigate all accidents and incidents
  • Accountability for all employees
  • Have effective "return to work program"
  • Values individual and team
  • All employees expected to observe the 8 "Cardinal Safety Rules"

Small Mining
Savage Mine, Westmoreland Resources Inc

The Savage Mine has eleven full time employees and operates a lignite mine near Savage, MT in Richland County, MT. The Savage Mine produces about 375,000 tons of lignite annually.

Small Mining Award Winner
  • Utilizes and follows Montana Safety Culture Act to enhance safety culture
  • Safety is 1st priority
  • Thorough required training and refresher training
  • Conduct substance abuse testing
  • Awarded Certificate of Achievement in Safety by MSHA
  • Invited by MSHA to participate in developing "Stakeholders Best Practices" with mines from Powder River Basin
  • Employees worked safely without a lost time accident since January, 2002
  • "Mining can be a dangerous occupation, but it does not need to be an unsafe one."