Safe State at UA Partners With Hyundai to Protect Alabama Auto Manufacturing Workers

  • May 11th, 2005

Tuscaloosa, Ala. – The Safe State Alabama Consultation Program in The University of Alabama’s College of Continuing Studies has partnered with Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Alabama Industrial Development Training Institute to provide automotive team members and employees of participating suppliers in Alabama a safe and healthy workplace.

The three-year partnership agreement was recently signed by William H. Weems, director of UA’s Safe State Occupational Safety and Health Consultation program, Moon-Hee Lee, president and chief operating officer of Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Corp., Roberto Sanchez, area director OSHA, Ken Atha, Mobile area director OSHA, and Ed Castile, director of the Alabama Industrial Development Training Institute.

The primary goal of this agreement is to establish a workplace where recognized industry hazards are minimized and controlled through the creation of a pro-active health and safety culture and a cooperative non-adversarial relationship that optimizes the resources of all members.

“I believe this new partnership between business, government and academia will improve workplace safety performance in Alabama’s rapidly growing automotive manufacturing sector,” said Weems. “UA, through its Safe State program, will be a major player in the partnership. We will focus on providing training and consultative assistance to the mostly small businesses that make up Hyundai’s supplier chain.”

“Most of our partners are Korean and new to the U.S.,” said Dennis Mickelsen, senior manager for safety at Hyundai. “This is their first experience with safety in America. It is important that we take a synergistic approach with our partners to help establish safety programs in this first generation of workplaces.”

This partnership is one of the first to include participating Tier One suppliers which are: Daehan Solution Alabama, Mobis Alabama, Mobis America, Arvinmeritor Sejong, Dongwon Autopart Technology, Halla Climate Systems Alabama, Hwashin America Corp., SMART Alabama, SL Alabama L.L.C., Mando America Corp., Arvinmeritor OE, T&WA of Montgomery, Sungwoo USA, Teksid Aluminum North America, Glovis Alabama and Glovis America.

“The unique thing about this partnership is the far reaching effect that it will have,” said Atha. “The safety and health benefits will travel outside the walls of the typical partnership that covers one type of work. All the Tier One suppliers do different things using different mechanisms and different techniques. This will enable each supplier to develop benchmarks and set the standard that can be utilized by others in their industry. We are looking forward to seeing the positive impact this partnership will have here in Alabama and elsewhere.”

For more information on UA’s Safe State Consultation Programs please visit or call 205/348-7138.


Allen Williams, assistant director, Safe State Occupational Safety and Health Consultation Program, 205/348-7138


Rebecca M. Booker, UA Media Relations, 205/348-3782,

The University of Alabama, part of The University of Alabama System, is the state’s flagship university. UA shapes a better world through its teaching, research and service. With a global reputation for excellence, UA provides an inclusive, forward-thinking environment and nearly 200 degree programs on a beautiful, student-centered campus. A leader in cutting-edge research, UA advances discovery, creative inquiry and knowledge through more than 30 research centers. As the state’s largest higher education institution, UA drives economic growth in Alabama and beyond.