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Miller Electric "Saluted" for Employee Wellness Efforts

APPLETON, Wis. May 14, 2007—For its initiatives that promote employee wellness and control rising health care costs, Miller Electric Mfg. Co. today received the “Alla Tua Salute!” award from Lake Winnebago B2B, a monthly business-to-business magazine serving the south Fox Valley region.

Miller Electric was acknowledged for its policy of mandatory health risk assessments for all new employees, its employment of an onsite nurse, an onsite health coach to help employees identify and reduce health risks, its creative healthy living incentive program, and a variety of other onsite wellness initiatives. Miller Electric experienced a 10 percent drop in the medical claims it paid three years ago from the previous year, and only an eight percent increase the following year.

Sean Fitzgerald, publisher of Lake Winnebago B2B, presented the Second Annual Alla Tua Salute! Award to Patty Leiker, Corporate Health & Wellness Manager, who accepted the award on behalf of Miller Electric.

“We initiated Alla Tua Salute!—an Italian phrase meaning “To your health!”—in 2006 to encourage a competitive environment among employers in the Fox Valley to become known as a healthy place to work,” said Sean Fitzgerald, president/publisher of Lake Winnebago B2B. A panel of area health benefits experts selected Alla Tua Salute! winners based on various factors, including ability to demonstrate improved health of its workforce and implementation of innovative wellness benefits. This issue is so important that Presidential hopeful and former Secretary of Health & Human Services Tommy Thompson believes the country needs to spend more of its health care dollars on prevention rather than treatment.

Health a Daily Issue

“We’re honored by this award, but the recognition really belongs to all the Miller people who take the small, daily steps that make healthy lifestyles an achievable goal,” said Mike Weller, president of Miller Electric.

Some of those daily steps include morning stretches, drinking more water each day, logging each day’s nutritional intake and walking “the Miller mile,” a measured path marked around Miller’s headquarters. Major steps include a nurse that provides regular blood pressure screenings, group education sessions on nutrition and other health care topics, making onsite health risk assessments available throughout the year, onsite first responder and CPR training and an ergonomic evaluation of workstations. In addition, all Miller properties went smoke-free in 2006 (and this includes smoking outside during work breaks). Miller offered a comprehensive smoking cessation program at no cost, and almost 40 employees have quit smoking altogether.

“By working together, we can all become smarter consumers of health care, and we can all benefit,” noted Weller.

To promote a healthy culture, Miller Electric also works with other companies in the Fox Valley. In January 2004, the company partnered with Appleton-based ThedaCare and its "Ingenuity First" division to help identify the health risks of Miller Electric employees and measure the results of health awareness efforts.

With headquarters in Appleton, Wis., Miller Electric Mfg. Co. is a leading worldwide manufacturer of Miller brand arc welding equipment and related systems for metalworking, construction, maintenance and other applications. Miller Electric is a wholly owned subsidiary of Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW), Glenview, Ill. ITW is a diversified multinational manufacturer of highly engineered components, assemblies and systems.