A Tradition of Safety

NPL has always recognized and rewarded safe work practices, and throughout the years, unique awards have become NPL tradition. One of the earliest safety awards is pictured above. According to NPL founder Noel Coon, the idea for this award came at a time of growing concern with the number of vehicular accidents, especially in NPL’s own equipment yards. This old wheel chock from an antique store in St. Charles, IL, caught Coon’s eye as a fitting symbol for vehicle safety. With a bit of restoration, it became a traveling trophy called the Noel T. Coon Safe Driving Award.

The Golden Shovel, one of NPL’s most iconic awards, is a awarded in recognition of safety excellence. Whether it be for zero motor vehicle accidents or for number of days without a lost time injury, several of NPL’s areas have earned their shovels over the years. Pictured to the left is a restored Golden Shovel award. To the right is what the Golden Shovel award looks like today. It is presented at NPL’s annual Kick-Off meetings in the spring.


The original Safe Driving and Golden Shovel awards are on display at the Central Office in Phoenix.