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Region 10 News Release: 09-451-SEA (09-66)
May 26, 2009
Contact: Jeannine Lupton
Phone: 206-553-7620

U.S. Labor Department's OSHA renews safety and health star for Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. in Nampa, Idaho

SEATTLE -- The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will recognize Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc.'s production facility in Nampa, Idaho, for continued excellence in employee safety and health when the agency renews the facility's participation in its Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) at the star, or highest, level. The ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. MDT on May 28 at the facility on 9178 Lakeshore Drive in Nampa.

"Pioneer Hi-Bred made a commitment in 2006 to implement an excellent safety and health management system through the efforts of both management and labor at its Nampa production facility. This effort has continued to this day and has resulted in an injury and illness rate that is 53 percent below the average facility in this industry," said Richard S. Terrill, OSHA's regional administrator in Seattle.

The production facility employs about 17 workers who use a bulk receiving system and forklifts to unload and store seed grown by farmers throughout the U.S. northwest and Canada. The seeds are dumped onto a conditioning line with forklifts, transferred using grain elevators during the conditioning process, and packaged in bulk containers or bags and conveyed to an automatic palletizer where bags are placed on pallets and stored in the warehouse for eventual shipment.

The star designation came after an OSHA onsite review of the facility's safety and health programs in February 2009, interviews with employees and a complete tour of the worksite. OSHA initially approved the facility's VPP star status in February 2006 and now has extended it for five more