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

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

February 14, 2013 - The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recently granted renewal of its MVPP Star Award, the state's highest workplace safety and health award, to Herman Miller's Midwest Distribution Center (Midwest Distribution) located in Holland, MI. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).


"Herman Miller's long-time commitment to workplace safety and health sends a strong message to other Michigan companies," said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder. "They have created a corporate culture where workplace safety and health is consistently held as a top priority. Their record shows 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 28 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 and was recertified in 2009.


Midwest Distribution's incidence rate and lost work day rate are well below the Michigan average for their NAICS code 337214 - Office Furniture (Except Wood) Manufacturing. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 1.1 in 2009, 3.0 in 2010, and 2.2 in 2011, compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 3.6 in 2009, 3.8 in 2010 and in 3.6 in 2011. The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2009, 1.0 in 2010, and 1.8 in 2011, compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 3.6 in 2009, 3.8 in 2010 and in 3.6 in 2011.


Midwest Distribution employs 180 employees, and is the company's main warehousing and distribution center for office furniture. The MIOSHA review team consisted of Dave Humenick, Team Leader and Senior Industrial Hygienist; and Deborah Gorkisch, Senior Safety Specialist. During the review, the team conducted three formal and 20 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 inspiring designs to help people do great things. 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.


Midwest Distribution has several "Areas of Excellence," including:


·         Housekeeping - The housekeeping at the site is very good. Housekeeping is an aspect of their lean manufacturing process (sort/label/identify). Monthly, employees perform zone audits of the facility. Lean manufacturing is also part of the Herman Miller Performance System (HMPS).


·         Herman Miller Performance System (HMPS) - The HMPS is a problem solving program utilized for troubleshooting issues and it is also the program used for continuous improvement.


·         Communication Team - The team provides up-to-date information to employees about the company's performance on topics such as Behavior Based Safety scorecard statistics, findings, and goals. They produce a newsletter and disseminate information about environmental, safety, and health issues that arise. The team is also responsible for ensuring that employees are informed about upcoming company and/or site events.


·         Ergonomics - The site has a flourishing and fully implemented ergonomic program. The program is used to identify ergonomic risk factors and the staff training needs. Ergonomics is a factor on the site's performance scorecard and goals are set to ensure continuous improvement as it relates to ergonomics. When ergonomic issues are identified, a plan of action is developed and the status is tracked to completion. The program requires the involvement of both management and employees. Employees at all levels are actively involved.


Herman Miller's award-winning products and services generated more than $1.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2012. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also helped establish Herman Miller as a recognized global brand and Herman Miller was named among the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers by Industry Week. Herman Miller is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR. For additional information, visit www.HermanMiller.com.


For more information about MIOSHA, please visit www.michigan.gov/miosha


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For more information about LARA, please visit www.michigan.gov/lara

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