Herman Miller's Midwest Distribution Center Receives Renewed MIOSHA Recognition of their Workplace Safety and Health Excellence

Contact: Paula Stevens 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

September 14, 2009 -Herman Miller's Midwest Distribution Center 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 Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).

"Herman Miller is to be commended for its exemplary corporate commitment to workplace safety and health," said MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski. "They have created a corporate culture where workplace safety and health is a top priority. The Midwest Distribution Center recognizes that a safe workplace provides the foundation for a productive workplace."

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 27 MVPP Star companies. This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. Midwest Distribution first received MVPP Star approval on December 22, 2006.

Midwest Distribution employs 133 workers, and is the company's main warehousing and distribution center for office furniture. The MIOSHA review team consisted of Doug Kimmel, Team Leader and Safety Consultant; and Dave Humenick, Industrial Hygienist. During the review, the team conducted two formal and 22 informal interviews. The team found their safety and health management system effectively addresses 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.

Several changes and improvements have been made in their safety and health management system since their 2006 evaluation, including: 
  • Revitalized and reintroduced their behavior based safety (BBS) observation system, focusing on: eyes on path; policy and procedure violation; and pre-job inspection. 
  • Made ergonomic improvements that include a new more stringent verification/rating process - all high risk factor jobs and/or tasks have been eliminated. 
  • Created 47 site-specific safety learning sessions, including sessions about the MVPP and BBS. 
  • Developed and installed new and upgraded emergency response kits. 
  • Sufficiently increased the number of hazard assessments (similar to a JHA) developed (9 in 2005 - 39 year-to-date in 2009). 
  • Introduced various scenarios into emergency drills (e.g.: fallen boxes, blocked exits, etc.).

Areas of excellence include: 

  • Environmental conservation. 
  • Stellar housekeeping
  • Audio-visual training material.

Herman Miller works for a better world-with inventive designs, technologies and related services that improve the human experience wherever people work, heal, learn, and live. Its curiosity, ingenuity, and design excellence create award-winning products and services, resulting in more than $1.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2009. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also established Herman Miller as a recognized global company. In 2009, Herman Miller was again cited by FORTUNE as both the "Most Admired" in its industry and among the "100 Best Companies to Work For" in America, while Fast Company named Herman Miller among the innovative "Companies to Watch." Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.

For additional information, visit www.HermanMiller.com.


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