MIOSHA Honors Marathon's Detroit Refinery as 'Rising Star'

The presentation took place at a ceremony last Friday. This Friday, most state agencies will be closed as Michigan saves $21.7 million by requiring 37,400 employees to take a total of six unpaid furlough days this summer.

Marathon Oil Corporation's Michigan Refining Division, representing its Detroit refinery, received the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program's Rising Star Award for workplace safety and health excellence last Friday from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the MVPP Rising Star Award to George Shaffner, the refining division's manager, at a ceremony that wouldn't have been possible this Friday because MIOSHA's Lansing offices and the offices of other non-essential state agencies will be closed.

"Marathon is to be commended for their investment to upgrade its Detroit refinery and for exemplary corporate commitment to workplace safety and health," said Susan R. Corbin, deputy director and chief of staff of MIOSHA's parent agency, the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. "We're honored to recognize every worker at the Detroit refinery for their dedication to work safely while producing the fuel that will speed Michigan's economic growth."

"Workplace safety and health excellence are priorities at Marathon, so I know that all of those who work at the refinery are honored by this recognition of their efforts toward continual improvement in safety and health achievement," said Shaffner. The refinery has about 500 employees and contract workers. It is Michigan's only petroleum refinery, processing 102,000 barrels of crude oil daily.

The state of Michigan will save $21.7 million by requiring 37,400 state employees to take unpaid furloughs before the state's fiscal year ends Sept. 30. Michigan State Police road patrols, correctional facilities, state psychiatric hospitals, veterans' homes, youth facilities, emergency human services programs, and the Unemployment Insurance Agency are not affected by the closings this Friday and on July 6, July 24, Aug. 7, Aug. 21, and Sept. 4.

Michigan Voluntary Protection Program Star sites must have incidence rates below the Michigan average for three years. The Detroit refinery's rates are below the Michigan industry average for two of the past three years for its NAICS code (324110, Petroleum Refinery), with the refinery's total case incidence rate being 0.2 in 2008 and 1.3 in 2007, compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics industry average of 1.6 in 2008 and 2007. The refinery's total days away/restricted/transfer cases (DART) rate was 0.2 in 2008 and 0.8 in 2007, compared to the BLS industry average of 1.0 in 2008 and 2007.

"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 Kalinowski. "Not only does the MVPP program significantly reduce injuries and illnesses; it also has a tremendous impact on the bottom line."

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