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Jan. 20, 2012

Monsanto corn research site achieves safety and health award, recognized Jan. 25

Workplace safety and health representatives from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) will recognize Monsanto's Olivia, Minn., corn research facility for its achievement as a Minnesota Star (MNSTAR) worksite, during a ceremony* Jan. 25.

MNSTAR is a Minnesota Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MNOSHA) program that recognizes worksites where managers and employees work together to develop safety and health management systems that go beyond basic compliance with all applicable OSHA standards and result in immediate and long-term prevention of job-related injuries and illnesses.

"We are pleased to reward Monsanto for its commitment to communicate, demonstrate and practice safety and health excellence at all levels of the organization," said Ken Peterson, DLI commissioner. "Because of their ongoing efforts to reduce on-the-job injuries and illnesses, more workers go home safe and healthy each day."

To achieve MNSTAR status, the management and employees at Monsanto's corn research facility worked with MNOSHA's Workplace Safety Consultation to identify and eliminate current or future safety hazards at its worksite. Key elements of this comprehensive program include:  management leadership and employee involvement; an allocation of resources to address safety issues; systems that identify and control workplace hazards; and a plan for employee safety training and education.

"MNSTAR certification cannot be attained without the support and dedication of the site's staff, employees and management," said Mark Sellmann, Monsanto testing and operations manager. "At Olivia, we have created an atmosphere of ongoing commitment to safer equipment, safer processes and maintaining a safe workplace."

The Olivia, Minn., research facility is engaged in the breeding and selection of inbreds for the development of corn hybrids. Monsanto Company is a leading global provider of technology-based solutions and agricultural products that improve farm productivity while conserving resources.

Peterson and other DLI representatives will commemorate the organization's employee-employer relationship by presenting a MNSTAR flag and a certificate that exempts the facility for three years from MNOSHA Compliance scheduled inspections.

MNSTAR began in Minnesota in January 1999, and is modeled after the federal OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), which began in 1982. Monsanto's corn research facility is one of 31 MNSTAR worksites in Minnesota.

For more information, visit www.dli.mn.gov/WSC/Mnstar.asp.

*The 11 a.m. ceremony will be at Max's Grill, 2425 W. Lincoln Ave., Olivia, Minn.

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News media contact:
James Honerman
(651) 284-5313

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