Labor and Economic Opportunity
February 11, 2013 - Today, United Water, Inc.'s Wixom Waste Water Treatment was awarded the 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).
"United Water, Inc's Wixom Waste Water Treatment long-time commitment to workplace safety and health sends a strong message to other Michigan companies," said LARA Deputy Director Rob Nederhood. "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.
"Workplace Safety is our number one priority at United Water and I am very proud of the importance our employees at the Wixom Project have placed on it," said Nadine Leslie, President of United Water's Environmental Services segment. "In our industry you can never be too careful, our employees are alert and exercise safe techniques in the workplace every day and we are pleased to join with the City of Wixom in this outstanding recognition."
The Wixom facility's incidence rate and lost work day rate are well below the Michigan average for their NAICS Code: 221320 - Sewage Treatment Facilities. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 0.0 in 2009, and 2010, compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 4.1 in 2009 and 6.2 in 2010. The total day's away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2008, 2009, and 2010, compared to the BLS industry average of 1.9 in 2008, 2.5 in 2009 and 4.0 2010.
"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 Yoder. "Not only does the MVPP program significantly reduce injuries and illnesses - it also has a tremendous impact on the bottom line."
The MIOSHA MVPP Reevaluation Review Team consisted of Doug Kimmel, Team Leader and Safety Specialist, Karen Odell, Safety Consultant, and Kristin Osterkamp, CIH, CSP, Senior Industrial Hygienist. During the review, the team conducted one formal and six informal interviews. The team examined various elements of the safety and health management system, and found them to effectively address the scope and complexity of the hazards at the site.
The Wixom facility employs 8 workers and it provides contract operations, maintenance, and management services to the City of Wixom for its water and wastewater utilities. These services include water distribution, wastewater treatment, administration of the industrial pretreatment program, and customer billing. The facility has an exemplary safety and health record, and has exhibited outstanding leadership in recognizing that a comprehensive safety and health system is critical to successful businesses today.
The MVPP assists employers and employees by providing a mechanism and a set of criteria designed to evaluate and recognize outstanding safety and health management systems. The program is designed to establish a cooperative relationship between management, labor, and MIOSHA. MVPP participants implement safety and health management systems that provide protections beyond what is required by MIOSHA standards.
There are two levels of recognition in the MVPP. The Michigan Star program is designed for workplaces that have an exemplary safety and health management system with injury and illness incidence rates below the industry average for the last three years. The Rising Star program provides the "stepping stone" for those establishments that have the desire and potential to achieve Star Status within one to three years. Rising Star participants have a good safety and health management system and have incidence rates at or below the industry average for two out of the last three years.
Current Star sites are available to mentor other companies that have an interest and desire to improve their safety and health management system. Mentors inform, counsel, train, and strive to achieve excellence in safety and health through the MVPP.
United Water is one of the nation's leading environmental companies, providing water and wastewater services to approximately 5.7 million people in the United States. In addition to owning and operating 20 water utilities, United Water operates 100 municipal and industrial water and wastewater systems through innovative public-private partnerships and contract agreements. Founded in 1869, United Water is a subsidiary of SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT.
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