Griffith Area celebrates VPP Star Status
Marathon Pipe Line’s (MPL) Griffith Area operations in Griffith, Indiana, recently received recognition as a Star worksite from Indiana’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). This is MPL’s third facility to achieve VPP status. They join other MPC facilities including refineries, terminals and offices in receiving this distinction. VPP Star Status recognizes a workplace’s commitment to employee safety and is administered by the state-level Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) office.
There are 22 employees at the Griffith Area facility. They started their VPP certification process in September 2015 with an initial visit from the Indiana OSHA team leader. Following this meeting, the Griffith Area local VPP team began meeting weekly in November 2015, to work through the VPP process. The area had a second visit from the Indiana OSHA team leader in July 2016 to ensure the area was still on target for VPP and to coordinate a potential date for the onsite audit.
The onsite audit for certification took place in October 2016 and consisted of the Indiana OSHA team leader and three special government employees. The Griffith Area facility received confirmation of certification in November 2016. While there are more than 150,000 businesses across Indiana, the Griffith Area operations is one of 83 sites in the state to achieve this certification.
“Achieving the OSHA VPP Star certification is certainly one of the proudest accomplishments in the area’s history,” said Gary Grubb, Griffith Area manager. “The success was a result of efforts by every Griffith team member along with our many ES&R partners. A total commitment from MPC/MPL management and Indiana OSHA was also apparent throughout the year-long process.”
A celebration and flag raising ceremony was held at the facility in May, with about 35 invitees in attendance, including area employees. Griffith Area Operations Supervisor Tom Hobson; MPL President Tim Aydt; MPLX Executive Vice President of Transportation and Logistics John Swearingen; Indiana Department of Labor Commissioner Rick Ruble and Indiana Department of Labor Deputy Commissioner Tim Maley all made comments during the award ceremony.
“The celebration marked the end of our certification journey and began increased expectations for continuous area safety improvements going forward,” concluded Grubb.