MichCon Milford Compressor Station Receives State's Highest Safety and Health Award

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

June 11, 2008 - The MichCon Milford Compressor Station 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).

"DTE Energy and MichCon are strong economic partners for Michigan's future growth and development," said DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley. "We are proud today to present the MichCon Milford Compressor Station with the Star Award. Your safety and health diligence sends a strong message to all employers that worker protection is a sound business decision."

MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division Director Connie O'Neill presented the MVPP Star Award to the MichCon Milford Team. Bob Richard, MichCon Senior Vice President, Gas Operations, congratulated Milford employees on their safety and health success. Members of the Milford team raised the MVPP flag following the ceremony.

"This award is especially gratifying because safety is the top priority at all MichCon facilities and operations," Richard said. "Worker safety is an integral part - the most important part - of providing our customers with safe and reliable natural gas service. Our Milford employees have embraced the safety-first mindset in everything they do and this award belongs to each and every one of them."

Also accepting the award on behalf of the Milford Compressor Station team was Supervisor Chris Conley. "This award represents the commitment to safety by each member of the Milford team," he said. "But it also represents their commitment to each other because we could not achieve this level of safety performance without looking out for each other day in and day out."

The Milford Compressor Station is the second DTE Energy facility to receive the MVPP Star Award. Detroit Edison's Fermi 2 Power Plant received the award in 2004.

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 26 MVPP Star companies.

"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 O'Neill. "Not only does the MVPP program significantly reduce injuries and illnesses-it also has a tremendous impact on the bottom line."

The incidence rates at the Milford facility are well below the industry average for their NAICS code 486210 − Pipeline Transmission of Natural Gas. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 0.0 in 2005, 2006, and 2007 − compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 2.4 in 2005 and 2006, and 2.7 in 2007. The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2005, 2006, and 2007 − compared to the BLS industry average of 1.2 in 2005 and 2006, and 1.3 in 2007.

The Milford Compressor Station is a natural gas transportation and compression facility and employs 10 workers. Hourly employees are represented by Local 223, the Utility Workers Union of America.

The MIOSHA review team consisted of Doug Kimmel, Team Leader and CET Safety Specialist, and Kristin Osterkamp, CIH/CSP, CET Senior Industrial Hygienist. The MIOSHA review team conducted six formal and two informal interviews during the Star 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. Some of Milford's areas of excellence include: all employees, including supervision, attend all safety training, are members of the site safety committee and hold daily briefings which include safety issues.

DTE Energy has key corporate goals to make sure that employees at all their facilities have a safe and healthy work environment. Their workplace safety goals include: 

  • To focus on increasing hazard recognition and on the proactive behaviors that help prevent injuries; 
  • To strive to improve learning from one another; 
  • To continue to reduce incident rates; and 
  • To increase their potential for sustaining long-term improvement.

MichCon is a subsidiary of DTE Energy, a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. MichCon serves 1.3 million customers with natural gas service in 550 Michigan communities. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com

Read more Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth press releases.