Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations Receives Renewed MIOSHA Recognition of their Workplace Safety and Health Excellence

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

November 7, 2007 - Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations recently received renewal of its MVPP Star Award, the state's highest workplace safety and health award, from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth (DLEG).

"This continued excellence on the part of management and employees at the Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations is simply outstanding," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "You have demonstrated that you have a company culture that promotes management commitment, employee involvement, and an environment where workplace safety and health is a top priority."

MIOSHA established the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) program in 1996 to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. Since 1999, Michigan has recognized 22 MVPP Star companies. This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. The Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations first received MVPP Star approval on May 7, 2004.

"On behalf of our Leadership Team, I would like to congratulate all the employees of Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations. Receiving renewal of our MVPP Star Award brings significant pride to our operations and supports the commitment of our team on the journey to zero work-related injuries and environmental incidents," said Amy Heisser, Director of Human Resources for Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations. "The employees of the Whitehall Operations continue to demonstrate their commitment to our core values of continuous improvement in our environmental stewardship, health and safety performance, and above all else valuing human life."

The Alcoa Howmet Whitehall Operations is a wholly owned subsidiary of Alcoa Howmet and employs approximately 2,550 workers at seven manufacturing facilities and two support operations. Production employees are represented by UAW Local 1243. The MIOSHA review team consisted of Doug Kimmel, Team Leader and Occupational Safety Consultant; and Dave Humenick, Industrial Hygienist.

The Whitehall Operations regards the health and safety of workers and the protection of the environment in the communities where it conducts business as a top priority. Since 2000, from a safety and health perspective, there have been a number of important changes throughout the Whitehall facilities. Employees at all levels are focused on "risk based" factors that could potentially contribute to injuries and incidents as well as developing a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities in every workplace process.

The Whitehall Operations have developed specific programs for managing those processes that are identified as having the highest risk potential. These "Critical 4" programs cover confined space entry, lockout/tagout/verification, mobile equipment and fall prevention/fall protection. Each Critical 4 program has a management level individual assigned as a Single Point of Accountability (SPA). The SPA takes ownership of the program by developing a tactical team, utilizing the location's health and safety professionals as a technical resource, tracking leading indicators, and ensuring all aspects of the Critical 4 programs are implemented. The SPAs and their tactical teams have effectively taken these programs to the next level and have helped the facility achieve a level of excellence, rather than simply regulatory compliance.

The Whitehall Operations have also developed an aggressive ergonomics program, including a pre-work/post-lunch stretching program; an ergonomic early intervention process; and ergonomically designed workstations, equipment and processes. In addition, its medical review systems have been dramatically upgraded to ensure employees can safely perform their work assignments.

"Your continued recognition in the MVPP program and the trust and cooperation upon which it is based demonstrate that implementing an exemplary safety and health-management system not only is an admirable goal, but it is sustainable in the long term," said Kalinowski.

Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Alcoa Howmet is a world leader in the investment casting of superalloys, aluminum and titanium primarily for jet aircraft engines and airframes as well as industrial gas turbine (IGT) engine components. Alcoa Howmet also provides hot isostatic pressing, precision machining and protective coating services.

Alcoa is the world's leading producer and manager of primary aluminum, fabricated aluminum and alumina facilities, and is active in all major aspects of the industry. Alcoa serves the aerospace, automotive, packaging, building and construction, commercial transportation and industrial markets, bringing design, engineering, production and other capabilities of Alcoa's businesses to customers. In addition to aluminum products and components including flat-rolled products, hard alloy extrusions, and forgings, Alcoa also markets Alcoa® wheels, fastening systems, precision and investment castings, structures and building systems. The company has 122,000 employees in 44 countries and has been named one of the top most sustainable corporations in the world at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. More information can be found at