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Region 10 News Release: 09-451-SEA (09-66)
May 26, 2009
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Phone: 206-553-7620

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA renews safety and health star for Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. in Nampa, Idaho

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.'s production facility in Nampa, Idaho, for continued excellence in employee safety and health when the agency renews the facility's participation in its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. MDT on May 28 at the facility on 9178 Lakeshore Drive in Nampa.

"Pioneer Hi-Bred made a commitment in 2006 to implement an excellent safety and health management system through the efforts of both management and labor at its Nampa production facility. This effort has continued to this day and has resulted in an injury and illness rate that is 53 percent below the average facility in this industry," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.

The production facility employs about 17 workers who use a bulk receiving system and forklifts to unload and store seed grown by farmers throughout the U.S. northwest and Canada. The seeds are dumped onto a conditioning line with forklifts, transferred using grain elevators during the conditioning process, and packaged in bulk containers or bags and conveyed to an automatic palletizer where bags are placed on pallets and stored in the warehouse for eventual shipment.

The star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs in February 2009, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA initially approved the facility's VPP star status in February 2006 and now has extended it for five more years.

The Nampa production facility is one of more than 2,160 worksites in 270 industries nationwide that have earned entry into OSHA's VPP. Requirements include a high degree of management commitment and employee involvement; a high-quality worksite analysis, hazard prevention and control program; and comprehensive safety and health training for all employees. Each of these elements must be effective, in place and in operation for at least one year before a company can apply to join the VPP. Companies in the VPP achieve average injury and illness rates 50 percent below the Bureau of Labor Statistics average for other companies in their respective industries.

OSHA has improved workplace safety and health over the past 38 years. This success is reflected in the latest data (2007) showing the lowest national injury and illness incidence rate that the Bureau of Labor Statistics has ever recorded. OSHA will continue to work diligently to focus its resources where they will have the most impact in assuring that every working man and woman returns home safely every day.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthy workplace for their employees. OSHA's role is to promote the safety and health of America's working men and women by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual process improvement in workplace safety and health. For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

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U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America's employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.


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