Herman Miller, Inc., Midwest Distribution Center Receives State's Highest Safety and Health Award

Contact: LARA Communications 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

June 20, 2007 - Herman Miller's Midwest Distribution Center received the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) Star Award today from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for workplace safety and health excellence. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

This is the third Herman Miller facility in Michigan to achieve Star status. The GreenHouse Seating Operation received the award in 2005, and the Spring Lake 171st Avenue facility received the award in 2006. The Midwest Distribution Center was named a Rising Star company on May 17, 2005.

"Herman Miller is one of Michigan's ‘Best Corporate Citizens' and we are honored to recognize them for their workplace safety and health excellence," said DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley. "Their outstanding ethic of innovation and design has made them an international leader in furniture manufacturing−they have changed the interior landscape of workplaces worldwide."

MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the MVPP Star Award to Kevin Tibbetts, General Manager of Logistics for Herman Miller, Inc., who accepted on behalf of all employees. State and local elected officials, corporate leaders and MIOSHA representatives were on hand to congratulate employees and management on their outstanding achievement.

"We are honored to be the third Herman Miller facility to receive the prestigious Star Award," said Tibbetts. "Every Midwest Distribution team member is focused on creating a safe and healthy work environment−and every team member is to be congratulated for this outstanding achievement."

This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. MIOSHA established the MVPP program in 1996 to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. Since 1999, Michigan has recognized 20 MVPP Star companies.

The incidence rates at the Midwest Distribution Center are well below the industry average for their NAICS code 49311 − General Warehousing and Storage. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 3.8 in 2003, 2.8 in 2004, and 2.5 in 2005-compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 10.1 in 2003, 9.3 in 2004, and 8.4 in 2005. The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 2.9 in 2003, 1.4 in 2004, and 1.3 in 2005-compared to the BLS industry average of 7.5 in 2003, and 5.6 in 2004 and 2005.

"National VPP sites experience 60 to 80 percent less lost work day injuries than would be expected of an average site in their industry," said Kalinowski. "Not only does the MVPP program significantly reduce injuries and illnesses-it also has a tremendous impact on the bottom line."

Herman Miller's Midwest Distribution Center employs about 275 workers, and is the company's main warehousing and distribution center for office furniture. The MIOSHA review team conducted 36 formal and 12 informal interviews during the site visit. The team examined each of the required elements of their safety and health management system, and found them to effectively address the scope and complexity of the hazards at the site.

Herman Miller's corporate mission is to create great places to work. A key element of their mission is to create a safe, healthy and productive work environment for their own employees. Midwest Distribution employees participate in the facility's safety and health efforts through teams, committee membership, a suggestion program and physical inspections.

Areas of excellence include:

  • Stellar housekeeping; 
  • Vehicle safety and pedestrian walkways; 
  • Alarmed gates at loading docks; and 
  • Ergonomic checklists that provide valuable information for ergonomic improvements.

Herman Miller helps create great places to work, heal, learn, and live by researching, designing, manufacturing, and distributing innovative interior solutions that support companies, organizations, and individuals all over the world. The company's award-winning products, complemented by furniture management and strategic consulting services, generated over $1.73 billion in revenue during fiscal 2006.

Herman Miller is widely recognized both for its innovative products and business practices, having been named recipient of the prestigious National Design Award for product design from the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum. In 2007, the company was again included in CRO magazine's "100 Best Corporate Citizens" and was cited by Fortune magazine as the "Most Admired" company in its industry. The company trades on the NASDAQ market under the symbol MLHR." For additional information visit www.HermanMiller.com.