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OSHA News Release
Region 1

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Region 1 News Release: 6-244-chi
Feb. 9, 2006
Contact: Brad Mitchell
Phone: 312-353-6976

Labor Department Welcomes Eau Claire, Wis., 3M Worksite into Prestigious Safety Program

CHICAGO -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today praised the 3M manufacturing plant in Eau Claire, Wis., as one of the most effective employers in the nation in protecting workers by welcoming the plant into the prestigious Star category of the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

"This 3M facility has operated at a safety rate superior to the national average for injury and illness incidence in similar workplaces," said Michael G. Connors, regional administrator in Chicago for OSHA. "We believe that the cooperation between management and employees at this site is key to their success, and we hope the entire industry will seek to emulate their effort."

The 3M Eau Claire facility employs 180 people and designs and manufactures high performance electronic interconnect products, serving global customers in computing, telecommunications and medical applications. The facility is a part of the Electro & Communications Business of 3M Company.

"The employees of 3M Eau Claire deserve tremendous credit for receiving the Voluntary Protection Program Award from the U.S. Department of Labor. We are proud of the efforts our employees put into making safety a top priority," said Ray Lornez, 3M Eau Claire plant manager.

The VPP recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management. In the program, management, labor and OSHA establish a cooperative relationship at a worksite that has implemented strong safety and health systems. Star participants, which meet all VPP requirements, are at the top of the program's recognition ladder.

According to Connors, VPP participating businesses experience fewer employee injuries and illnesses, reduced workers' compensation costs, improved productivity, improved employee morale and recognition in the community. In addition, safety and health management systems at these sites are further improved over time through the internal and external reviews that are part of the program's ongoing requirements.

The 3M Eau Claire operation will be welcomed into the Star program Feb. 13 at ceremonies at the plant.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit

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