AOHC: ACOEM Announces Best Corporate Health Programs for 2003

The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine recognized BAE SYSTEMS, Marathon and Union Pacific Railroad as having the best corporate health programs in 2003 at this year's American Occupational Health Conference in Atlanta.

BAE SYSTEMS' Information & Electronic Warfare Systems (IEWS) business unit, headquartered in Nashua, N.H., was recognized for its proactive interventions for patients with cumulative trauma disorder injuries. The interventions not only help employees, but gave the company an estimated nine-year cost savings of $7.7 million.

"BAE SYSTEMS is the largest manufacturing employer in New Hampshire and is vigilant about eliminating workplace hazards, " said Robert Godenfroi, M.D., medical services manager at BAE. He noted BAE discontinued use of two hazardous materials at its Merrimack, N.H. facility, a result of its award-winning chemical/material review process.

Over 80 percent of the employees of Marathon Ashland Petroleum LLC, and its parent company, Marathon Oil Co., participate in preventive screening tests, on-site biometric evaluations, a reimbursement program for fitness activities and a health risk assessment. The program also offers free colonscopy screenings to qualifying employees, retirees and their spouses.

The award "serves to exemplify the hard work and dedication of each of our employees involved with health care," said Randy Lohoff, senior vice president of Health, Environment and Safety for Marathon Ashland Petroleum. "It acknowledges their deep commitment to their profession, the company they work for and the splendid care they render the employees in its service."

Union Pacific Railroad of Omaha, Neb., is the first railroad to receive the award. Union Pacific, which employees 47,000 workers, offers innovative occupational health programs that address its largely middle-age, male workforce. Programs include an aggressive and comprehensive rehabilitation assistance program for alcohol and drug-dependent employees. The program has a low recidivism rate of 8 percent to 10 percent.

Marcy Trainer Zauha, director of medical services at Union Pacific, said the company is unique in that it conducts research to understand not only the effectiveness of intervention strategies in reducing risk factors, but also employees' acceptance of various interventions. Union Pacific also initiated a shippers' award to recognize shippers who helped prevent non-accident chemical releases, resulting in a 28 percent reduction since 1994.

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