MIOSHA and the Office of the State Employer Sign Alliance to Improve Workplace Safety and Health in State Government

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

March 6, 2009 - The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) and the Office of the State Employer (OSE) re-signed a formal alliance today to improve workplace safety and health in state government. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

During the signing ceremony, 20 State of Michigan safety and health representatives achieving MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI) Level One Certification were recognized.

"We are proud to sign this alliance today that supports the outstanding efforts of state government agencies to provide their workers with a safe and healthy work environment," said Susan R. Corbin, DELEG Deputy Director & Chief of Staff. "Through the MIOSHA Training Institute, this alliance offers state agencies the training and tools necessary to protect their workers."

Signing the alliance were: Susan R. Corbin, Deputy Director & Chief of Staff, DELEG; Sharon Bommarito, Director, Office of the State Employer; Doug Kalinowski, Director, MIOSHA Program; and Ken Swisher, Director, OSE Employee Health Management.

"Our collaboration with MIOSHA allows us to combine our resources for outreach safety activities for each state department," said Bommarito. "Today's graduation of the 20 state safety and health representatives from the MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI) is a great example of sharing resources and promoting our common mission."

The OSE encourages all state departments to use the "MI-Safety" Safety and Health Management System approach, which actively engages employees in safety. The benefits of a systematic approach are that safe and healthy employees deliver higher quality and more efficient services to Michigan citizens and the financial and emotional impact of accidents is reduced.

"The MIOSHA program is dedicated to working with employers, both public and private sector - to find innovative ways to enhance workplace safety and health," said Kalinowski. "Through alliances, MIOSHA can offer employers a voluntary, cooperative relationship to eliminate serious hazards and achieve a high level of safety and health."

A key goal of this alliance is to deliver MIOSHA Training Institute (MTI) courses to state safety and health representatives. The MTI delivers affordable, consistent, participant-driven seminars statewide based on the most up-to-date industry standards in a hands-on, interactive environment. MIOSHA and Macomb Community College launched the MTI in 2007. (more)

The MTI Certification Program offers participants an opportunity to be recognized for their educational efforts and increased technical expertise. The courses offer Continuing Education Credits and Maintenance Points, as well as an opportunity to achieve Level One Safety and Health Certification. There are two certification tracks, General Industry and Construction.

MTI training for the state representatives was funded by OSE and provided by the MIOSHA Consultation Education & Training (CET) Division. OSE MI-Safety Manager Steve Monet and CET Safety Consultant Debra Gundry coordinated the training. All of the 20 state representatives took four required courses and passed the testing requirements. CET Division instructors included: Debra Gundry, Jennifer Clark-Denson, Gregg Grubb, Linda Long, and Karen Odell.

The following 20 state employees received MTI Level One Certification: 

  • LeeAnn Allaire, Budget Analyst, Bureau of Construction Codes, Department of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth; 
  • Suzanne E. Brownell, Manager, Administrative Services, Department of Community Health; 
  • Tim Carroll, Safety Officer, Department of Environmental Quality; 
  • Paula Crawford, Laboratory Safety Coordinator, Department of Environmental Quality; 
  • Daryl Cummins, Regional Fire Inspector, Department of Corrections; 
  • Judy Ferrigan*, Safety Analyst, Department of Management and Budget; 
  • Gene Fushi, Regional Fire Safety Supervisor, Department of Corrections; 
  • Sharon Gaier, Human Resource Manager, Human Services, Civil Service Commission; 
  • Joel Hoffman*, Safety & Health Manager, Department of Management and Budget; 
  • Cathy Howell, Disability Management, Michigan State Police; 
  • Robert Kirkby, Health and Safety Officer, Forensic Science Division, Michigan State Police; 
  • Heidi McMurphy, Acting Regional Fire Safety Supervisor, Department of Corrections; 
  • Steve Monet, MI-Safety Manager, Office of the State Employer; 
  • Dan Morgan*, Safety Analyst, Department of Management and Budget; 
  • Bob Robertson, Rehabilitation Consultant Manager, Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth; 
  • Judith Kloss Smith, Laboratory Health and Safety Officer, Department of Community Health; 
  • Denise Thelen, Safety and Health Coordinator, MIOSHA, Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth; 
  • Gerald Thomas, Fire and Safety Supervisor, Grand Rapids Home for Veterans, Department of Military and Veterans Affairs; 
  • Andrew Vincent, Property Analyst, Office Occupancy Services, Department of State; 
  • Dan Welihan, Environmental Health & Fire Safety Section Manager, Department of Corrections. (*Also provides safety and health services to the Michigan Department of Information Technology.)

"Our continuing alliance with MIOSHA will benefit all state employees, their families and the citizens of Michigan," said Swisher. "We look forward to collaborating with MIOSHA to offer more MTI classes and other opportunities to promote the ‘MI-Safety' approach."

For more information about forming an alliance or partnership with MIOSHA, please check our website at www.michigan.gov/miosha or contact the CET Division at 517-322-1809.