Occupational Hazards Names 2004 America's Safest Companies

Sept. 14, 2004
The 17 diverse companies named by Occupational Hazards as the 2004 America's Safest Companies share dedication to safe work, healthy workers.

Safety is flying high at Bell Helicopter, fully entrenched at Washington Group, packing a punch at PACKERLAND-Plainwell, setting everyone abuzz at Anheuser-Busch and shining like lip gloss at L'Oreal USA.

Occupational Hazards, the leading magazine of safety, health and loss prevention, has chosen 17 diverse companies as the 2004 America's Safest Companies. Profiles of the companies will be featured in the October issue of the magazine and in a new monthly column highlighting best practices by America's Safest Companies.

The 2004 America's Safest Companies are Anheuser-Busch, Bell Helicopter, DeFabCo, Denark Construction, DSM Desotech Inc., Energy Northwest, Ford, Bacon & Davis, Freudenberg-NOK, Inland Printing Co., L'Oreal USA, Milliken & Co., Monsanto Co., Packerland-Plainwell Inc., Rohm and Haas, Smurfit-Stone Container, Texas Instruments and Washington Group.

"The 17 companies chosen as America's Safest Companies all recognize both the intrinsic value of occupational safety and health, and the business advantages that it provides in terms of increased profit, productivity, quality and morale," said Stephen Minter, editor of Occupational Hazards magazine. "These companies share a conviction that workplace safety and health can be managed just like other business functions, and that the companies that manage it best reap substantial advantage over their competitors."

Said Jean-Paul Agon, president and CEO of L'Oreal USA, "Safety makes good business sense, but more importantly, it's the right thing to do for our employees, for our business and for our communities." L'Oreal USA has made a commitment to occupational safety and health by vowing to have all of its U.S.-based facilities participate in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program in less than 5 years.

At Monsanto, all facilities are expected to meet a set of fundamental requirements for core safety, health and occupational medicine programs and process, regardlenss of their locations around the world or possible lack of local or national safety and health regulations. "At Monsanto, it's about safety as a core value, not just a priority, but who we are. We've created a culture where safety where life is valued, and that's how we approach our employees about it," said Emer OBroin, vice president, Environmental Safety and Health, Monsanto.

At PACKERLAND-Plainwell Inc., safety is integrated into the production and business models to the point where "it is a part of all decisions made in upgrading and improving the facility. Whether it's increasing production goals, or making facility or process modifications," said Leigh Floyd, occupational safety manager, "engineering and safety requirements must be satisfied before a project is approved."

At all of the companies honored in 2004, safety starts at the top down, with chief corporate officers showing an avid interest in occupational safety and health. When told of Bell Helicopter's inclusion on the list of the 2004 America's Safest Companies, James "Skipper" Kendrick, manager of Industrial Safety & Hygiene at Bell Helicopter, admitted, "This announcement has created some excitement here within the ranks of our

senior management." That comes as no surprise; When Chairman Emeritus John R. Murphey was asked about the importance of management's commitment to safety, he responded, "We need to walk the talk, show that responsibility lies at the management level and to let the whole organization know consistently that this is a priority and part of their responsibility as well."

"Since 2002, America's Safest Companies is the most anticipated and most read article series in the safety industry," said Rob Howlett, publisher of Occupational Hazards. "The support and interest from readers of OH and safety industry leaders has been overwhelming. And the interest in America's Safest Companies stretches beyond the safety industry, with leading trade publications such as Industry Week, American Machinist, Welding and Fabrication and Logistics Today all planning to run full-page announcements about the 2004 America's Safest Companies."

The 2004 America's Safest Companies and Safest Companies sponsors MCR Safety and PureSafety were recognized at an event at Muriel's on Jackson Square in New Orleans on Sept. 13, 2004.

About the Author

Sandy Smith

Sandy Smith is the former content director of EHS Today, and is currently the EHSQ content & community lead at Intelex Technologies Inc. She has written about occupational safety and health and environmental issues since 1990.

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