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For Immediate Release: Contact:
MARY ANN BOHRER
917-941-9907

DaimlerChrysler Corporation receives prestigious Corporate Health Achievement Award in recognition of health and safety of its workers

(Washington, D.C. – May 1, 2005) The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) has named automotive giant DaimlerChrysler Corporation a recipient of its Corporate Health Achievement Award for 2005. The company was honored for its innovative health and safety programs and dramatically improved rates of work-related injuries in recent years.

The Corporate Health Achievement Award (CHAA) recognizes quality occupational and environmental health programs, identifies model programs and outstanding practices with measurable results and encourages organizational self-assessment and continuous improvement.

Only organizations with the most exemplary health and safety practices are considered for the award each year, and in most years only a handful are recognized. This year ACOEM named two recipients: DaimlerChrysler Corporation and Quad Graphics, one of the world’s largest printing companies.

“DaimlerChrysler Corporation has very publicly recognized that it has a responsibility for the health and safety of its workers, as well as the community in general,” said ACOEM President Timothy J. Key, MD, MPH. “But what makes the company unique and worthy of this award is the way it has turned its public statements into day-to-day action at its many facilities around the world. DaimlerChrysler Corporation has made good on its vow to be a leader in corporate health and safety and has become a role model for others in business as a result.”

Recipients of the annual award are judged on the strength of their health and safety programs for individual employees, their programs to protect the environment, their leadership and management, and for their efforts to create an overall work culture that stresses healthy lifestyles and safety consciousness.

DaimlerChrysler Corporation, which has a workforce of approximately 85,000, was singled out for several innovations, among them:

  • B.E.S.T.: The company’s Bringing Excellence to Safety Teams program, implemented in 1999, empowers employees to become involved in a company-wide safety improvement process. The program is hailed as a model of cooperation between management and a trade union (United Auto Workers) and it has helped DaimlerChrysler Corporation reduce its rate of injuries and lost workdays by more than 75 percent, while saving millions of dollars in workers compensation expense.
  • Ergonomic injury rate: The company started a comprehensive effort to improve ergonomic engineering and increase employee awareness of ergonomics in 1999, resulting in a dramatic drop in ergonomic injuries. By 2004, the ergonomic injury trend had been reduced by more than 80 percent.
  • Standardized care: DaimlerChrysler Corporation took measures to standardize its medical care for employees starting in 1999, with an in-house medical and pharmaceutical formulary, electronic ordering system for supplies and other improvements. Its medically-related services are now significantly more efficient, saving the company an estimated $500,000 annually in medical supplies expenditures alone.

“One thing that is abundantly clear from DaimlerChrysler Corporation’s innovations is that employee health and the bottom line are more intertwined than ever before,” said Dr. Key. “The idea that healthy workers and corporate profitability go hand in hand is, thankfully, becoming part of mainstream thinking – and the result has huge implications for the future quality of our work environments.”

Representatives of DaimlerChrysler Corporation accepted the award today at a special ceremony during ACOEM’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

The Corporate Health Achievement Award was established in 1997 as way of encouraging healthier and safer work environments. The ACOEM award program is considered the most rigorous and comprehensive of its kind, requiring extensive documentation from companies of their programs and practices and an onsite visit by a team of ACOEM evaluators.

Companies begin the process by filling out a health and safety self assessment, available at www.CHAA.org. Results of the assessment help companies determine how their programs compare to ACOEM health and safety standards and national best practices.

Applicants in the competition receive detailed feedback from ACOEM on their programs regardless of whether they receive an award, which Dr. Key says is helping raise awareness of best practices and, in the long run, improve standards for employee health and safety.

“Safer, healthier workplaces mean increased productivity, more job satisfaction, stronger bottom-line results, less harmful environmental impact and enhanced community relationships,” he said. “As the nation’s attention focuses increasingly on workplace conditions and their effect on employee health and satisfaction, our award program becomes more relevant as a kind of spotlight that draws attention to the best practices of corporations that are addressing health and safety issues.”

To learn more about the Corporate Health Achievement Award, call 847-818-1800 or visit www.CHAA.org.

About ACOEM
The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) represents more than 6,000 physicians specializing in occupational and environmental medicine.  The members of ACOEM are physicians dedicated to the health of workers and the environment.  Founded in 1916, this dynamic medical society encompasses a variety of medical practices united via the College to develop positions and policies on vital issues relevant to the practice of preventive medicine—both within and outside of the workplace.  The College is composed of 31 component societies in the United States, Canada and Mexico. Members of the College adhere to an established Code of Ethical Conduct for occupational and environmental physicians.

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