Dow Corning Corporation's Auburn Site Receives State's Highest Safety and Health Award

Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

July 24, 2007 - Dow Corning Corporation's Auburn Site 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).

"Dow Corning Corporation is one of Michigan's economic all stars and we are honored to recognize their Auburn Site for an exemplary workplace safety and health system," said DLEG Director Keith W. Cooley.  "Dow Corning's outstanding ethic of innovation has made them an international leader in silicon-based technologies which will fuel America 's ability to invent the future."

MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the MVPP Star Award to Auburn Site Manager Roger L. Schroeder, Auburn Safety Team Leader Sandy Holka, and the Auburn Safety and Health Committee, who accepted on behalf of all employees.  State and local elected officials, Dow Corning corporate leaders and MIOSHA representatives were on hand to congratulate employees and management on their outstanding achievement.

"On behalf of all Auburn Site employees, I would like to thank MIOSHA for this prestigious award," said Schroeder. "The MVPP Star award is a concrete example of our employees' commitment to safety and the importance they put on safe work day in and day out."

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.

The incidence rates at the Dow Corning Auburn Site are well below the Michigan average for their industry NAICS code 325211 − Plastics Materials and Resin Manufacturing. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 1.8 in 2005, 2.3 in 2006, and 1.2 in 2007-compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 3.0 in 2005 and 2006, and 2.4 in 2007.  The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 1.4 in 2005, 0.9 in 2006, and 0.8 in 2007-compared to the BLS industry average of 1.8 in 2005 and 2006, and 1.2 in 2007.

Contractors are regularly on site performing maintenance work, cleaning services, and other various tasks.  All contractors are required to attend a facilitated safety and security orientation prior to beginning work and are expected to follow all Dow Corning safety and health rules and procedures. Contractors with injury and illness rates above industry averages are not permitted to work at the Dow Corning Auburn Site.

"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."

Dow Corning Corporation's Auburn Site employs about 280 workers, and is a chemical manufacturing facility which produces high-quality materials primarily for the electronics, automotive and aerospace industries.  The MIOSHA review team consisted of Doug Kimmel, Team Leader and CET MVPP Specialist; Bob Carrier, CET Safety Consultant; and Cindy Zastrow, M.S., CET Industrial Hygienist.

Dow Corning Corporation is committed to an injury-free work environment and believes the security of their people is vital to their overall success. Dow Corning Corporation pledges to:

  • Focus activities on preventing accidents and eliminating root causes, with the ultimate goal of zero injuries;
  • Expect their people to understand and follow their safety rules and procedures;
  • Integrate safety considerations into business decisions;
  • Manage chemicals responsibly; and
  • Expect people to report unsafe acts and to help each other work more safely.

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.  The Auburn Site's areas of excellence include:

  • Site managers, supervisors, and employees are held accountable for meeting their safety and health responsibilities;
  • The safety team leader is part of the Site management staff and is involved in setting goals that include safety, production, five year planning, and staffing requirements;
  • The Site utilizes a number of hazard analysis techniques including job hazard analysis (JHA), peer-to-peer observations, and balance of consequences (BOC) audits;
  • Corrective actions from external audits are tracked in the company Global Incident Management System (GIMS).  All hazards, no matter how identified, are tracked to ensure timely correction; and
  • At the end of each year incident data is reviewed for trends and the results are analyzed using Six Sigma methodology.

Dow Corning provides performance-enhancing solutions to serve the diverse needs of more than 25,000 customers worldwide. A global leader in silicon-based technology and innovation, offering more than 7,000 products and services, Dow Corning is equally owned by The Dow Chemical Company and Corning, Incorporated. More than half of Dow Corning's annual sales are outside the United States .