The honor was given to the NMA, Watzman and a team of labor, government and others on August 4 by HHS secretary Kathleen Sebelius as part of the agency’s first HHSinnovates program.
The PDM is capable of measuring cumulative dust exposure and can reduce disease risks when worn by a miner.
Almost 10,000 employees of the Department of Health and Human Services voted on more than 125 innovations submitted for consideration last spring.
Sebelius said HHSinnovates was developed because "we recognize that innovation is the lifeblood of continued improvement in our department’s performance in serving Americans".
She said the PDM was the only award earned by a team that included non-government employees.
The agency also recognized the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, Thermo Scientific, the US Department of Labor, the United Mine Workers of America and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association as well as individual project participants.
Watzman commented on the technology’s importance to the industry: "The PDM has the potential to revolutionize miner health, and NMA was pleased to participate in this very important team effort."
The NMA, established in 1995 to serve as an industry voice in the nation’s capital of Washington, DC, now has more than 325 corporate members.