DTE Energy’s River Rouge Power Plant received the CET Platinum Award today from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) for an outstanding safety and health record. On January 27, 2010, the facility received the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) Rising Star Award for workplace safety and health excellence. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth (DELEG).
The River Rouge Power Plant has gone more than six years without a lost-time accident and is the first power plant in Michigan to achieve Platinum Award status.
MIOSHA Director Doug Kalinowski presented the award to Vinay Bhakkad, River Rouge Power Plant Manager. Local officials congratulated the company on its outstanding achievement. Invited guests, management personnel and employees attended the presentation and luncheon.
“It is a distinct honor to recognize the employees and management of the River Rouge Power Plant with the Platinum Award for their exemplary safety and health diligence,” said Kalinowski. “Your record of six years without a lost time accident in a high-hazard industry is an astounding success. Your commitment is proof that focusing on safety up front is a sound business decision.”
The MIOSHA Consultation Education and Training (CET) Division recognizes the safety and health achievements of Michigan employers and employees through CET Awards, which are based on excellent safety and health performance. The CET Platinum Award recognizes an outstanding safety record of five or more years worked without days away from work.
“This Platinum Award is a great achievement for the River Rouge Power Plant employees,” said Bhakkad. “Safety is the highest priority at our plant and throughout DTE Energy, and we are extremely proud that River Rouge is the first power plant in Michigan to achieve this level of safety. But more important than the award and recognition is the fact that our employees go home to their families safe and healthy at the end of every day.”
Besides going more than six years without a lost-time accident, the company has completed the following criteria to receive the Platinum Award:
- Developed and implemented a comprehensive safety and health management system;
- Established a safety and health committee, with both employee and management participation;
- Developed an employee training system, with an emphasis on how to do the work in a safe and healthful manner; and
- Worked diligently to change their workplace culture to reflect the importance of worker safety.
The River Rouge Power Plant has 155 employees, many of whom are represented by Local 223, Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). The facility has worked with the MIOSHA CET Division for several years. CET Senior Safety Consultant Doug Kimmel, CET Safety Consultant Jeff Kelley, and CET Industrial Hygienist Fred Kirkland performed a hazard survey on site, which is a part of the award process. This survey allowed them an opportunity to walk through the facility with a MIOSHA representative and correct any problem areas that were noted.
Detroit Edison has key corporate goals to make sure that employees at all their facilities have a safe and healthy work environment. Their workplace safety goals include:
- To focus on increasing hazard recognition and on the proactive behaviors that help prevent injuries
- To strive to improve learning from one another
- To continue to reduce incident rate
- To increase their potential for sustaining long-term improvement.
“Companies that establish an integrated safety and health program reap the benefits of significantly reducing their injury and illness rates,” said Kalinowski. “Reducing these rates not only protects employees – it has a healthy impact on a company’s bottom line.”
The River Rouge facility embraces the DTE Energy Fossil Generation Group’s Vision/Mission: “We power the progress of society by generating energy valued by our customers. We are recognized for our commitment to safety, environmental stewardship and community involvement. We are flexible and adapt to change. We aggressively drive toward reliability, efficiency and lower cost through continuous improvement. We lead our industry in operational excellence by being engaged and dedicated. We are a learning organization that constantly seeks input and opportunities to improve.”
DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include Detroit Edison, an electric utility serving 2.1 million customers in Southeastern Michigan, MichCon, a natural gas utility serving 1.2 million customers in Michigan and other non-utility, energy businesses focused on gas storage and pipelines, unconventional gas production, power and industrial projects, and energy trading. Information about DTE Energy is available at www.dteenergy.com and at www.twitter.com/dte_energy.
Source: Michigan Dept. of Energy, Labor, & Economic Growth (DELEG)