Koch Pipeline Co. employees in Texas have achieved Voluntary Protection Program Star status - the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's highest accolade for businesses - becoming only the fourth pipeline operating group in the United States to earn the prestigious designation.

Representatives from the OSHA lauded the team for its commitment to safe work practices during a recent celebration.

Koch Pipeline operates pipelines transporting refined products, crude oil, chemicals and natural gas liquids in Texas and other states. The company, whose southern operations group is based in Corpus Christi, employs about 50 people within the state.

"By earning VPP Star, Koch Pipeline and its employees have shown their commitment to safety," said Marianne McGee, OSHA assistant area director. "This achievement represents leadership and dedication to working safely."

Koch Pipeline's overall OSHA recordable rate is 0.00, compared to the industry's 2.20. When it comes to working without an injury resulting in time away from work, the company's rate is also 0.00, compared to the industry's 0.90. Company employees have worked more than three consecutive years without a recordable injury.

"This designation reflects this team's commitment to establishing a work culture that places safety as the highest priority," said Bob O'Hair, president of Koch Pipeline. "This team set a goal to work safely. I am proud of their effort to realize that goal and set a high standard for themselves and the rest of our team."

Koch Pipeline's operating team in Texas has also earned the following awards in 2007: Award of Honor, National Safety Council, Texas Chapter; Safety Excellence Awards as owners and contractors, South Texas Industrial Industry, which is supported by the Port Industries of Corpus Christi and Contractor Safety Councils of the Texas Mid Coast and Coastal Bend.

Koch Pipeline Co., an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, has been operating in Texas since the 1960s. Many of the pipelines the company operates are owned by affiliate Flint Hills Resources.