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June 15, 2011

Pioneer Hi-Bred Jackson Plant achieves safety and health award, recognized June 21

Workplace safety and health representatives from the Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) will recognize the Pioneer Hi-Bred Jackson soybean production facility for its achievement as a Minnesota Star (MNSTAR) worksite, during a ceremony at 11 a.m., June 21, at 182 Industrial Parkway, Jackson, Minn. Pioneer Hi-Bred is a DuPont business.

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 Pioneer Hi-Bred 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, Pioneer Hi-Bred Jackson plant management and employees 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.

"The Pioneer Jackson soybean facility is committed to improving safety in every facet of production," said Pioneer Production Manager Dennis Smidt. "We are proud of the MNSTAR designation, which is a testament to our team's ongoing focus on maintaining a safe and healthy workplace."

Pioneer Hi-Bred, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world's leading developer and supplier of advance plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere.

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. Pioneer Hi-Bred is one of 45 MNSTAR worksites in Minnesota.

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

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

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