Top Plant 2012: Pfizer Global Supply


In 2008, Michigan OSHA recognized the facility as a Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) STAR Site with a recertification in 2011. The Kalamazoo plant is the state’s largest facility and one of only 32 sites in the state to hold the certification. “We actually invited Michigan OSHA to inspect the plant and review our programs,” said Ronald Walko, senior manager, safety and industrial hygiene. “They sent two people to look at our chemical process safety program—that was the first step. If we didn’t pass those inspections, they wouldn’t have gone any further.”

During the next visit, Michigan OSHA sent seven inspectors for two weeks. “It was incredibly extensive.” Walko said. “They looked at our safety culture and Safety and Health Management System for such elements as management commitment, hazard prevention, colleague engagement, and how we do risk analysis in the plant. They assessed what kind of controls we have in place, and the PPE we use. They also looked at our training programs and verified our training records.

Michigan OSHA conducted one-on-one interviews with 138 employees and contractors to confirm that the plant’s safety programs and safety culture were in place and working. “And it was all done at random,” said Walko. “We didn’t get to pick who was interviewed. They randomly picked people from all shifts.”

The plant is eligible for recertification every three years. “It really is very meaningful to all of our colleagues,” Walko said. “The MVPP STAR certification is something that we’re really proud of because, to put it into Michigan OSHA’s terms, we are among the ‘Best of the Best.’”

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