Huntsman Corporation's Auburn Hills Facility Receives Renewed MIOSHA Recognition of their Workplace Safety and Health Excellence

Contact: Mario L. Morrow 517-373-9280
Agency: Licensing and Regulatory Affairs

June 7, 2011 - Huntsman Corporation's Auburn Hills facility is receiving 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 Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

The Auburn Hills facility has gone more than 13 years without a lost time accident.

"Huntsman's Auburn Hills facility is to be commended for its exemplary corporate commitment to workplace safety and health," said Steve Arwood, LARA Deputy Director. "Worldwide, Huntsman is committed to achieving excellence in environmental, health and safety (EHS) performance. This company recognizes that a safe workplace provides the foundation for a productive workplace."

MIOSHA Deputy Director Martha Yoder recognized the facility for their safety and health excellence at a special ceremony. Also participating in the ceremony were: Pete Panourgias, EHS Manager, Auburn Hills; Liz McDaniel, Vice President, EHS Business Partner, Polyurethanes; Steve Burns, Vice President, Polyurethanes, Americas; and Greg Pelts, Commercial Director, Auburn Hills. The facility also hosted a meeting of Huntsman EHS Regional Managers and Directors from across the United States.

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 26 MVPP Star companies. This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. The Huntsman Auburn Hills facility first received MVPP Star approval on February 27, 2004, and was recertified in 2007.

"At Huntsman, all of us take responsibility for safety and health every day, as it is part of our everyday culture. Nothing we do is worth getting hurt for," said Panourgias. "Achieving Star status again for the third time acknowledges Huntsman's rigorous determination to adhere to the highest standards of workplace safety and health, and to the total involvement of all associates here in Auburn Hills."

The Auburn Hills facility is a polyurethane product development operation with 11 machines that duplicate third party processes. The MIOSHA review team - Lee Jay Kueppers, Team Leader/Senior Safety Consultant, and Fred Kirkland, Industrial Hygienist − conducted 10 formal and 15 informal interviews during the site visit. The review team examined each of the required elements of their safety and health management system and them to be consistent with MVPP standards.

MVPP Star sites must have incidence rates below the Michigan average for three years. Huntsman's Total Recordable Case (TRC) rates and Days Away from Work and Restricted/Transfer Cases (DART) rates are well below the Michigan average for their NAICS code 325998 - All Other Miscellaneous Chemical Product and Preparation Manufacturing. Their TRC rate was 0.0 in 2007, 2008, and 2009  compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 4.2 in 2007, 4.8 in 2008, and 2.3 in 2009. Their DART rate was 0.0 in 2007, 2008, and 2009  compared to the BLS industry average of 2.5 in 2007, 2.9 in 2008, and 1.2 in 2009.

The Huntsman Corporation is committed to achieving excellence in environmental, health and safety protection. Their environmental, health and safety protection policy states: "It is the responsibility of both management and associates to operate safe, clean and efficient facilities in an environmentally and socially responsible manner." This policy is posted at the facility and included in the Environmental, Health and Safety Procedures Manual.

Some of the company's areas of excellence include:
  • Site management is actively involved in nearly every aspect of the safety and health management system. 
  • The management team presents EHS data at business meetings and holds employees accountable for EHS responsibilities. 
  • The facility strives for continual improvement through the implementation of the Huntsman Global EHS Standards. 
  • A complete review of the job safety and health analysis (JSHA) inventory list has been performed and updated. 
  • The energy isolation procedures (EIPs) have been improved and are now in one common format that is easier to read and follow. 
  • The emergency response team identified four simulations (fire, chemical release, medical, and weather) and team members were empowered to plan, run, and evaluate the simulations.

"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 Yoder.

The Auburn Hills site is the Research and Development Center for the Huntsman Polyurethanes Division. With 75 employees, the Auburn Hills site includes business and commercial management and technical staff for the global specialties business, advanced materials business, and commercial staff for the Huntsman Polymers Group.

Huntsman Polyurethanes, an international business unit of Huntsman International LLC, produces chemicals and systems for customers in the construction, refrigeration insulation, packaging, automotive seating and interiors, furniture, footwear, composite wood products, thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU), and adhesives, coatings, and elastomers markets. Numerous other Huntsman sites within the states of Texas and New Jersey have also earned Star status in the Voluntary Protection Program.

Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of differentiated chemicals. Its operating companies manufacture products for a variety of global industries, including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, textiles, footwear, paints and coatings, construction, technology, agriculture, health care, detergent, personal care, furniture, appliances and packaging. Originally known for pioneering innovations in packaging and, later, for rapid and integrated growth in petrochemicals, Huntsman today has approximately 12,000 employees and operates from multiple locations worldwide. The Company had 2010 revenues of over $9 billion. For more information about Huntsman, please visit the company's website at

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