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Ecolab's Elk Grove Village Facility Achieves OSHA's Highest Safety Recognition
Ecolab's Elk Grove Village Facility Achieves OSHA's Highest Safety Recognition

Ecolab Inc., the world’s water, hygiene, and infection prevention company, delivers comprehensive science-based solutions, data-driven insights, and world-class service to advance food safety, maintain clean and safe environments, and optimize water and energy use. They work with customers around the world across various industries including food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, and manufacturing. At their Elk Grove Village location, they specialize in innovative dishwashing solutions. Unlike traditional home dishwashers that can take hours to clean dishes, Ecolab's machines can achieve the same level of cleanliness in as little as 90 seconds. They receive dishwashers from all over the country and meticulously disassemble them into individual components. This process, which Ecolab considers re-manufacturing rather than simple refurbishment, involves thorough cleaning and rigorous functional testing of each part. After reassembly, the machines operate like new.

Ecolab in Elk Grove Village was recently awarded OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star Status. The VPP Star Status is the highest designation of OSHA’s Voluntary Protection Program and requires employee workplace injury/illness rates at least 50 percent below the national average. Ecolab’s Elk Grove Village facility maintains a workplace incident rate 100 percent below the national average.

Ecolab, led by Safety manager Valorie Howard, has worked hard to develop a culture of safety through a number of initiatives like quick follow-through from managers, open and honest communication, and awards for safety-conscious employees. Another strategy Ecolab has implemented is an employee-led advocacy group. The formation of this group allows the employees who work on the front lines to make quick, informed decisions about safety protocols. Stephen Rivera, Ecolab Plant Manager, described how this team works,

“We call them our safety advocacy team. They are completely employee-led, and they can manage their own budget. If the advocacy team needs to purchase new safety equipment or make changes to a procedure, they don’t need permission from the higher-ups. Giving our team that level of autonomy empowers them to make the right decision in a timely manner."

On April 4th, Ecolab planned a celebratory event to show recognition to the nearly 200 employees who work there. The event was attended by Ecolab’s corporate leadership team, including EVP Global Supply Chain Mike Duijser and the OSHA Assistant Regional Administrator Darnell Crenshaw, along with State Senator Seth Lewis, and Elk Grove Village officials. Elk Grove leadership was proud to celebrate Ecolab’s success alongside all the hardworking employees who made the award possible.

The event was a testament to Ecolab’s company culture, which can be summed up by the phrase, “We’re all in this together”. Instead of planning a small event with senior leaders, the company stopped production for the day, allowing every employee to celebrate their monumental achievement. Rivera explained what it meant to the employees,

“Staying safe is engrained in what we do day to day, but when you have all these leaders coming up and acknowledging the good work you’re doing, it makes the team feel like this is a pretty cool accomplishment.”

To learn more about Ecolab, visit

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