The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Koch Industries Inc., have renewed their partnership to strengthen safety and health for workers at eight facilities owned by Koch company affiliates around the country. The partnership was first signed in January 2003.

"Our partnership with Koch Industries has allowed OSHA to reach a diverse group of worksites within the organization and address safety and health issues in a company with a worldwide presence," said Jonathan L. Snare, acting assistant secretary of labor for OSHA. "We welcome the opportunity to advance our partnership and look forward to building on our successes."

Since it was first signed, injury and illness rates for Koch facilities in the partnership have declined significantly, as reflected by two types of measurements used by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Their "total case incident rate" as well as their DART rate have decreased . DART measures the extent to which injuries require workers to spend "days away, restricted and transferred" from their regular jobs.

"Our involvement with OSHA's Strategic Partnership Program has provided us an avenue for proactively involving agency representatives in our health and safety efforts," said Jeff Gentry, executive vice president of Koch Industries. "As a direct result, our employees can better leverage health and safety knowledge across our companies and work toward continuous improvement. This has enhanced our knowledge systems and allowed us to develop clearer strategies for future improvements. We look forward to continuing to work together to reduce injuries."

Through the partnership, Koch companies and OSHA have developed a contractor safety training course and an ergonomic awareness campaign, as well as enhanced working relations between Koch facilities and OSHA area and regional offices in their local areas.

The partners will maintain their focus on reducing injuries and illnesses, including ergonomic-related injuries at the participating Koch subsidiaries. They will continue to work together to expand and implement Koch companies' Safety and Health Management system at the worksites, including sharing knowledge and best practices from the partnership to help reduce injuries and illnesses at other Koch company sites.

Koch Industries, based in Wichita, Kan., owns a diverse group of companies involved in refining and chemicals, fibers and polymers, commodity and financial trading, and forest and consumer products. These companies have a presence in nearly 60 countries and employ about 80,000 people. Koch facilities involved in this partnership are: Koch Business Holdings LLC, Aviation Hangar, Wichita, Kan.; Koch Carbon LLC, Chicago and Corpus Christi, Texas; The C. Reiss Coal Company, Green Bay, Wis.; Koch Mineral Services Office Complex, Wichita, Kan.; and Koch Nitrogen Company, Enid, Okla., Beatrice, Neb. and Dodge City, Kan.