International Paper Plant Renews MIOSHA Star

International Paper's Sturgis Converting & Distribution Center recently received a renewal of its MVPP Star Award, which is Michigan's highest workplace safety and health award. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) program has recognized 27 sites statewide with it.

"International Paper is to be commended for its exemplary corporate commitment to workplace safety and health," MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski said Sept. 25. "They have created a corporate culture where workplace safety and health is a top priority. The Sturgis facility recognizes that a safe workplace provides the foundation for a productive workplace." Sturgis, which has 73 workers and is considered a high-hazard operation, first received the Star in February 2005.

The plant's total case incidence rate was 0.0 in 2005, 2.0 in 2006, and 0.0 in 2007, well below the BLS industry averages of 3.6 in 2005 and 4.8 in 2006 and 2007. Sturgis' total days away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2005, 1.2 in 2006, and 0.0 in 2007, against the BLS industry averages of 2.1 in 2005 and 3.1 in 2006 and 2007. MIOSHA said its areas of excellence include management commitment, employee involvement, Job Behavior Analysis, an effective program for working in hot weather, ergonomically safe tools, and the company's Safety Compliance Calendar. IP has 49 VPP sites in all.

"International Paper in Sturgis is committed to providing a safe and healthy work environment for all employees," said Plant Manager Steve Knutson. "This vital partnership with MIOSHA has helped us establish programs and methods to engage employees for their personal safety and the safety of their co-workers."

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