Published On: 11/24/2015

H.L. Boling to receive Health & Safety Individual Excellence Award

First recipient of new awards program to be honored at SME Annual Meeting

The Health & Safety Committee of Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is pleased to announce that H.L. Boling has been selected as the first recipient of the Health & Safety Individual Excellence Award. The award was established in 2013 and is presented to a member of the industry who demonstrates outstanding dedication, leadership or heroism in exploration, mining and/or metallurgy occupational safety and health management. The award will be presented during the SME Annual Meeting in Salt Lake City, UT, Feb. 23-26, 2014, and is one of three new health and safety awards being introduced: Operational Excellence, Mining Individual Excellence, and Research and Educational Excellence. 

H.L. Boling is a certified mine safety professional (CMSP) and has been in the mining industry nearly half a century. Mr. Boling wrote two chapters of the Mine Health and Safety Management book published by SME. Based on these chapters, for the past six years he has taught mining engineers at the University of Arizona about the criticality of safe production. 

Mr. Boling is a founding father of the International Society of Mine Safety Professionals (ISMSP) and the 4th person in the world to achieve CMSP certification. In 1996, ISMSP honored H.L. Boling by creating “The H.L. Boling Above and Beyond the Call of Duty Award.” In 2007, the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) South Central District established the “H.L. Boling Safe Production Award” award in his honor for his outstanding contributions to mine safety and health. The MSHA award is presented annually to the safest mining property with zero citations and zero incidents. 

Known the world over as “Mr. Safety,” Mr. Boling’s passion for safe production has earned him 83 personal awards and 178 certificates of merit. His myriad awards include:

  • National Safety Council’s (NSC) highest honor – the Distinguished Service to Safety Award
  • ISMSP’s highest honor – the Regency Award 
  • ISMSP Highest Degree of Safety Award, for the United States and its territories 
  • ISMSP Highest Degree of Safety International Award 
  • ISMSP Executive Chairman’s Safety Award 
  • ISMSP Excellence in Leadership Award 
  • Master Teacher of the Decade Award, from the Arizona Chapter of NSC 
  • Safety Sentinel Professional Award for Safety, Health & Research 

H.L. Boling is best known for his steadfast belief in attainable, sustainable, safe production with heightened emphasis on zero incidents, zero production concerns, zero discipline matters and zero citations. Throughout his career, he significantly impacted the mining industry with his positive attitude, impeccable character, generous gift of time and talents – often without remuneration – and has earned the admiration and respect of the mining community worldwide. 

The Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration Inc. (SME) is a professional society (nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation) whose more than 15,000 membership represents all professionals serving the minerals industry in more than 100 countries. SME members include engineers, geologists, metallurgists, educators, students and researchers. SME advances the worldwide mining and underground construction community through information exchange and professional development. SME's staff is located in Englewood, Colorado.

For more information contact John Hayden, Deputy Executive Director - Public Affairs and Government Relations, at (303) 948-4250 or