SOCMA is pleased to recognize and celebrate the 2023 recipients of the Safety Recognition Program.
Congratulations to the 2023 Safety Recognition Program Recipients
The 2023 Safety Recognition Program focused on companies and facilities in four key areas, Process Safety, Emergency Response & Planning, Stakeholder Engagement & Communications, and Material Transfer. It recognizes those who have implemented effective systems and processes focused on safety in all four areas.
Calvert City, KY
The facility boasts a comprehensive training program that equips its employees with the skills and knowledge needed to excel in their roles. The program is comprised of instructor-led training as well as computer-based training for cooperate required training. New employee orientation consists of 4 weeks of training in safety, environment, and on-the-job skill training before being assigned to work shifts. It also includes an 8-hour in-person training day for regulatory compliance in cGMP, RCRA, and other EHS-related topics. The EHS department develops training programs for Area Supervisors to utilize, topics of these trainings include, but are not limited to, PPE, Respiratory Protection, LOTO & Confined Space. The facility developed a 3-year PSM refresher training program that features workbooks and skill demonstrations.
A comprehensive safety program can help employees understand the hazards and risks associated with their work environment. It can equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to identify potential hazards and take the appropriate steps to prevent accidents and injuries. A well-trained employee is more likely to follow safety protocols and procedures which can help reduce workplace incidents further driving a culture of safety.
Columbus, OH Facility
Root Cause Analysis is utilized at the facility. RCAs are usually performed for incidents only, however near misses are investigated based on risk or potential outcome. Incidents and near misses are shared with other facilities and are communicated to employees during shift turnover meetings and monthly safety meetings. Sharing information between facilities helps prevent reoccurrence at the facility where the incident occurred and prevent similar incidents from occurring at other facilities.
The utilization of root cause analysis for near miss reporting is important because it helps identify underlying causes and contributing factors that enable the facility to take corrective and preventative actions to avoid future incidents. Root cause analysis also provides a framework for continuous improvement and can help build a culture of safety within the organization.
Lima, OH Facility
The facility utilizes a near miss/good catch tree for collecting and reporting near misses. All near misses and good catches are reported in real-time, this is done in various ways. A near miss “leaf” can be written up and hung on the near miss/good catch “tree”. This poster is placed where all employees can review near misses and good catches that have been submitted. They are compiled and sent out via email for further review weekly or bi-weekly and discussed in Tier I and Tier II meetings as well.
Multiple forms of near misses and incident reporting are important because different individuals may have different perspectives regarding near misses. Having multiple forms of near-miss reporting also increases the likelihood that near-misss will be reported and analyzed. In addition, communicating findings from near misses is important as it can help prevent future accidents/incidents from occurring.
Rayne, LA Facility
The facility’s training program is outstanding. In addition to safety professional and third-party lead training, the facility has developed the “Green Box”. The purpose of the “Green Box” is to provide easy steps for non-HSE experts to ensure safe operations regarding a specified hazard. “Green Box” helps employees know what questions to ask to improve the quality of HSE Observations and Leadership Engagements. They also aid in helping employees to expose gaps with regards to safety to help strengthen the facility’s safety program. Finally, the facility utilized a site where non-HSE managers and supervisors can access certain safety-related topics to lead safety meetings and toolbox talks on their own, this further demonstrates their support for the safety and well-being of their employees.
Developing their training program to include safety shows its commitment to creating a safe and secure work environment for its employees. This effort proves that the company takes safety seriously, and it is not just a matter of compliance with legal or regulatory requirements. By creating their training program, they can ensure that employees are trained according to their specific needs.
Taft, CA Facility
The Taft, CA facility is part of a network of multiple facilities. An HSE alert can be sent out to share details regarding incidents that occur. For instance, a slip, trip, and fall occurred at another facility, and it was found that a lack of situational awareness and failure to use the pedestrian crosswalk contributed to the incident occurring. This prompted other facilities to evaluate for uneven surfaces in walkways and remove or install barricades to prevent access to areas where hazards may be present. An HSE alert system has many benefits with regards to safety,
Bayport, TX Facility
The facility conducts various trainings and exercises to ensure that they can communicate with employees and the community in case of an incident. This includes but is not limited to the following,
Conducting training, drills, etc. is essential to ensure efficient communication between employers, employees, and members of the community during incidents. In case of emergencies, clear communication between all parties involved can save lives and prevent further damage. Training and exercises can help employees and others to better understand protocols, policies, and procedures established by the company.
Kilgore, TX Facility
The facility’s site communication plan is one of the first procedures a new hire must review during orientation. The plan is reviewed, and the new hire is made aware of their responsibility as part of the plan, evacuate only. It is explained to the employee that overtime their role will change and they will be trained on their new role. No matter the role the employee will be trained to the level of what is expected during the emergency. The plan is reviewed and communicated yearly during one of the monthly safety meetings. Drills are also conducted quarterly to verify the effectiveness of the training. Lastly, all visitors and contractors are required to review the plan in a brief capacity to understand that their responsibility is to evacuate to the muster point.
It is important to review the site’s communication plan during new hire orientation as it sets the foundation for effective communication and a standard of safety for all employees. The change in level of responsibility is also important as it takes time for an employee to become familiar with the site, its policies, and procedures.
In 2022, ChemDesign worked with a third party to develop and build a robust database for near misses and incident reporting as well as incident investigations. The database houses pictures, documents, notes, and other evidence for query and review. The incident software includes a dashboard that reveals real-time summaries of incidents and near misses on many variables of the investigation. Results can be described in graphic form and utilized.
It is unique for a company to develop and build their own incident reporting database because it exhibits a strong commitment to safety and risk management. Having a centralized database for reporting incidents allows for a more efficient and organized approach to addressing and resolving issues. It also allows for trends and patterns to be reviewed and used to improve overall safety protocols and procedures.
The facility is focused on safety in various ways. Lessons learned are utilized to implement preventative actions to aid in preventing similar or repeat injuries/incidents in the future. Through reporting, employee-involved investigations, and management safety support, Ethox has been able to achieve a safer work environment for all. Ethox has a goal of 100% employee involvement in the area of safety. To help achieve this goal Ethox started training employees at the OSHA 10 & 30 level in 2019 to help improve safety culture. They are also working with SC OSHA to pursue the OSHA VPP standard to help further improve the safety culture.
Utilization of lessons learned is important for safety because it encourages continuous improvement and helps avoid repeating past incidents. By reflecting on past incidents and near-misses, contributing factors, root causes, and best practices can be identified and help guide future decision-making. Finally, utilizing lessons learned can help promote a culture of safety that encourages open communication, proactive hazard identification, and ongoing learning and development.
The facility has multiple methods for reporting incidents, the primary is an accident/incident log located on the facility’s SharePoint. Near misses and incidents can be submitted to the EHS department via email as well. Lastly, employees can verbally report near misses and incidents directly to the EHS department or any supervisor. Having multiple means of submitting helps to create a safety culture where employees feel comfortable submitting near misses and incidents. Trends are utilized for near miss reporting, if 3 or more near misses of the same caliber are submitted the near miss is elevated and a formal Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is performed. Corrective and Preventative actions are established as part of the RCA and implemented.
Multiple forms of near misses and incident reporting are important because different individuals may have different perspectives regarding near misses. Having multiple forms of near-miss reporting also increases the likelihood that near-misses will be reported and analyzed. In addition, communicating findings from near misses is important as it can help prevent future accidents/incidents from occurring. In addition, understanding and analyzing near misses can provide valuable insights into potential hazards and risks. By doing this they can be addressed before they result in actual incidents.
The facility sits on the LEPC which allows them to stay up to date on community matters and allows responders in the community to become more familiar with the facility. The facility also invites members of the Tier I Hazmat Team, comprised of fire, police, and sewer from multiple localities, to participate in routine onsite visits. During these visits, a presentation is given on the hazards at the facility along with round table discussion(s) on facility worst-case scenario(s). Following the presentation and roundtables the Hazmat Team will do a facility tour to familiarize them with the facility and location of hazardous materials storage. This helps to better prepare them in the event of an emergency, helping to mitigate confusion and response time.
Being involved with the local emergency planning committee is important for emergency response and preparedness because it allows for collaboration to develop and implement well-utilized emergency plans and protocols. Being part of the committee also provides access to valuable information and resources to better prepare for emergencies and disasters. In addition, working with the committee fosters collaboration between other stakeholders in the community, which leads to a more coordinated and effective response in emergency situations.
The facility sits on the Company’s Process Safety Improvement Team. Ideas from both facilities are discussed offering a different perspective on things. Lessons learned are shared between the facilities as well. The process safety team was established to create a collaborative, engineering staff effort to improve the safety of the facility. These meetings are held at least once a month which forces engineering staff to identify issues at the facility and resolve them further improving the health and safety of the facility. Action items are established, and logged and deadlines are set, this is not limited to incidents only. ProSIT is for all topics related to safety not just for processes covered by PSM. ProSIT is fully supported by upper management at the facility. The facility’s Director of operations sits in on the meetings as his expertise is needed. The meetings consist of unit management, supervision of employees, along process engineers. It is encouraged for operators and those who can offer insight into recent events to participate as well.
The involvement of a facility in a company’s Process Safety Team is important for safety because it allows for the sharing of ideas and perspectives between facilities. By exchanging information and lessons learned, the team can identify potential safety risks and implement preventative measures to reduce the likelihood of accidents or incidents. Collaboration helps to promote a culture of safety and continuous improvement, which helps to ensure the well-being of employees, the facility, and the surrounding community.
The facility uses Enablon for incident reporting. All associates can make entries and review the incidents that have been entered. The incidents are covered in monthly Milliken Performance System meetings (MPS). Bi-monthly, the incidents are reviewed at the Corporate Safety level as well. Employees are encouraged to report all incidents no matter how small. Root Cause Analysis for incidents as well as significant Near Misses are conducted.
Utilizing an incident management system is critical for reporting and reviewing incidents because it provides a structured and organized approach to managing incidents. A system of this nature allows for incidents to be documented, tracked, and investigated. Incident management systems provide communication channels for all parties involved in the incident as well as supervisors, managers, etc. for notification purposes only. Additionally, incident management systems can generate reports, providing a valuable source of data for analysis and decision-making.
The facility has individual Process Safety Management (PSM) committees. Element owners are assigned so that no one person has all the PSM knowledge. The facility also has a Divisional PSM committee with representatives across all the facilities which meets routinely. A refresh is ongoing with Mechanical Integrity and Process Hazard Analysis.
This helps to prevent potential knowledge gaps and ensures that there is community knowledge sharing to identify and mitigate risks. These committees can bring together individuals from different departments, levels of knowledge, and experience to develop and execute effective PSM programs that align with best practices, regulations, and industry standards. This collaborative effort also protects against individual bias, oversight, and errors that could negatively impact safety at a facility.
In addition to routine emergency response and crisis communication plan training associates are required to take an active shooter course. Quarterly drills for spills, fires, and weather are also conducted.
These training programs and drills help prepare personnel to respond effectively to emergencies and crisis communications. Through this, they can mitigate risks and prevent accidents, injuries, and fatalities from occurring. Having a robust emergency response and crisis communication plan, along with effective training and drills, helps to create a culture of safety and preparedness, which is critical to maintaining a safe and secure workplace.
Monument Chemical LLC
The facility utilizes an integrated web-based “situation hub” software for crisis communication. The facility also aids in facilitating mutual aid tabletop and site drills with the Ft. Knox Fire Dept. and the facility Emergency Response Team. They also par participate in Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) meetings and conduct on-site drills with the local fire department.
The utilization of both the “situation hub” and facilitating tabletop and site drills are important factors in ensuring safety at a facility. This software allows for efficient crisis communication and coordination among staff, emergency responders, and the community. Tabletop exercises and drills provide practice and preparation for potential emergencies. Partnering with local fire departments and emergency responders ensures a coordinated response in the event of an emergency, reducing the risk of injury or harm to individuals at the facility.
Monument Chemical Baytown, LLC
The facility believes the foundation of a successful, safe career with their company is new employee training. They have a robust, new employee onboarding program in place and HSSE training is a central component of it. New hires are required to complete their HSSE training in the first week of their employment followed by site-specific training and facility orientation in their respective areas which includes shadowing experienced employees. A training coordinator manages training and provides each department with the current qualifications for each employee. With the help of our Sequence of Training Guides and an understanding of current qualifications, the training coordinator and the department leader develop realistic projections on specific IPT (In Plant Training) modules, Demonstration of Skills, and TRBs (Training Review Board) each employee will need to complete. This includes new certifications and re-certifications. Training is only complete after a successful review by a training review board, which consists of Department leaders. While an employee is in training, any procedure/checklist, or any other documents they fill out must be verified by a trainer or a designee. The trainer or designee will sign or initial next to the trainee every time until the trainee is fully qualified. For example, a Critical Checklist requires initials for each step; the trainer or designee must initial and or sign next to the trainee. Under no circumstance will any employee sign for one another. Each employee must sign or initial on their own. Supervisors must ensure this requirement is being followed at all times. A trainee will be able to perform tasks alone only once signed off and confirmed to be competent in a specific task by a supervisor. Training at our facility does not stop after new-employee training is complete; rather, it is ongoing and comprehensive. Employees are considered qualified for their role when they have completed all required training and are up to date on any required recurrent training. New employees must be qualified and have successfully passed their Training Review Board (TRB) before filling a shift assignment without oversight of their work. The maximum time between refresher training is three years, and employees may request more frequent training than specified. All employees will also be trained on OSHA, EPA, ISO, and facility-specific safety training each year.
Effective onboarding programs help new employees understand company policies, procedures, and culture, while HSSE training promotes safety consciousness, risk awareness and incident prevention. Training programs such as the one described above provide employees with the necessary skills and knowledge to operate safely in their roles, improving overall job performance and reducing the likelihood of accidents and injuries. Having a strong foundation in safety training and thorough onboarding, employees can confidently carry out their duties, contributing to a positive and safe work culture.
Monument Chemical Houston, LLC
The facility reports, documents (in an electronic tool), and discusses incidents every weekday. Using the electronic tool, they trend leading and lagging indicators. Some examples of lagging indicators are the number of reported Incidents, Lost time injury frequency rate, Investigation action items, and compliance exceedances. Leading Indicator examples: Near misses, Right to life audits (Safe work Permits, Hot Work, Confined Space and Lock out tag out), Safety Huddles, and Meetings. Using this data, allows us to identify areas of improvement and focus on the higher-risk activities. The goal is to prevent the recurrence of the same incidents. All incidents and suggestions are open to all in our electronic tool and can be accessed by all employees. Employees can follow and track the status of Incidents, the status of corrective/preventive actions from any workspace (Audits, Meetings, Incidents, RCIs, PHA’s, etc.), and suggestions to name a few.
The above practice of reporting, documenting, and discussing incidents daily with the aid of an electronic toll is important in building a strong safety culture as it helps in identifying potential hazards and risks in the workplace. Trending leading indicators can provide an opportunity to proactively identify areas of improvement in safety procedures, which can help prevent incidents from occurring. Overall, the above promotes a culture of continual improvement and safety awareness.
Monument Chemical Bayport, LLC
The facility has an annual hose inspection cycle. Before use each hose must be checked for current inspection. When a hose is found to be expired, it is taken to the test area where it will be tested and then placed back in service once the testing process is complete. The site uses odd and even year quarterly color codes to identify when a group of hoses are due for inspection. For example, an even year 1st quarter hose (Green) will be in service until the next year 1st quarter (odd year) when it will be taken out of service, tested, and put back in service with a Blue band. Hoses shall not be used after the last day of the inspection due date, which is the last day of the month one year from the inspection month. Every hose must also be inspected for external damage before use. If any repairable damage is noted, the hose is to be placed in the test staging area. Gaskets must be checked before each use and pins installed to secure the ears on cam locks. A leak test is also conducted to ensure no leaks/drips are present before starting any transfer.
The above demonstrates a commitment to safety and helps to prevent accidents and injuries. Taking a hose out of service when it is found to be expired and testing it before placing it back in service also reinforces the importance of safety procedures. Overall, these measures contribute to building a strong safety culture by prioritizing safety and promoting awareness and accountability among employees.
The facility’s incident reporting and investigating system is efficient and effective ensuring all incidents are promptly reported and investigated. Every incident that is reviewed by the safety committee results in a thorough root cause investigation. The best lessons learned are when the team’s investigation reveals a systematic issue that we can resolve as a preventive measure. All events, whether they are near misses, injuries, or concerns, are discussed by the employee run safety committee monthly. Task lists are created in the meetings to ensure that near misses, as well as other items, are being addressed facility-wide. Also, our monthly training sessions will include an additional comments learning session where the group discusses near misses with their peers and supervisors.
Having an efficient and effective incident reporting and investigation system is crucial for ensuring safety in a facility. Incidents can be promptly reported and investigated, leading to thorough root cause analysis. Information gathered can be used to make necessary changes and improvements aiding in the prevention of similar incidents occurring in the future. It can also help to identify other areas where potential hazards and risks are present. Ultimately, a comprehensive incident reporting and investigation system is key to maintaining a safe workplace.
Safety is top of mind at the facility. Short-shift meetings are held every day at 7 a.m. Several days of the week are designated to address specific subjects. Tuesdays are for observations – items that are not the way they should be and are outside the scope of submitting a work request. Wednesdays are for safety. This is not formal safety training, but rather a 5-minute review of something safety-related. Both the Tuesday and Wednesday meetings conclude with a question: any near-misses to report? Near misses are defined as something that happened but the result was not bad. A near miss can be related to safety, quality, environment, etc. They have a short-term goal (1- 2 yr.) of recording 18 near-misses per year and a long-term goal of 24 (3-5 yr.). The goal has been increased from when it was first introduced over 5 years ago. Near-misses can be reported to any member of management at any time but typically they are brought up at any of the daily morning meetings, not just Tues/Wed. At the morning meetings, they regularly discuss the concept of near misses, how we define them, why they are important, and bring up past examples. All near-misses are tracked in an in-house database in the same way as actual incidents, and the database is used to document the root cause, corrective actions taken in the form of one or more PDCA cycles (as needed), and the effectiveness of actions taken. The difference in the process for near-misses and incidents is that for incidents we conduct group investigations if needed, particularly for safety incidents, and utilize a formal incident reporting format.
Keeping safety top of mind is crucial to preventing accidents and promoting a safe work environment. Covering specific topics and/or themes each day provides a structured approach to addressing safety concerns and ensuring all areas are covered. “Observation Tuesdays” are especially important in identifying potential hazards and/or unsafe conditions that need to be corrected to prevent accidents or injuries. This emphasis on safety helps to keep employees safe and minimize the risk of accidents or injuries at the facility.
The facility utilizes PSM as a comprehensive approach to manage all aspects of the different processes they perform. Before the implementation of a new process, department personnel are identified as the responsible owners, they will participate in a hazard assessment of the product and equipment to identify the potential hazards of the product and determine if any required or recommended modifications are necessary to mitigate or prevent exposure to those hazards. After the assessment is reviewed by management, any relevant changes are made. Operations will lead a PSSR to review the process components with a team of relevant employees from other departments, including maintenance, HSSE, QA/QC, and engineering. Once the PSSR, handling procedures, and all other documentation are finalized, an intracompany change notice is distributed to generate full awareness of the upcoming change. The change notice triggers training for the individuals who will be involved with the process along with non-operational training for support departments.
The utilization of Process Safety Management (PSM), for non-covered processes as well, is important to safety as it is a comprehensive approach to manage all aspects of different processes. By identifying department personnel as responsible owners and including them as part of the implementation of new processes, it helps to ensure that safety risks are identified, and evaluated and preventative measures are put in place to mitigate those risks. This systematic approach can help prevent process-related incidents/accidents, protect workers and the community, and minimize harm to the environment.
The facility has instituted the assistance of facility personnel, specifically engineering, plant management, and supervisors to lead safety training. They believe the involvement of personnel from all departments in the development and coordination of safety training, helps improve the quality of the training material and equips them with the leadership skills to better manage their team effectively, to generate a positive company culture, extending beyond safety, as well as giving them the ability to shape employee behavior. They also incorporate computer-based safety training that is meant to enhance employee knowledge and skills.
It is important to involve personnel from all departments in safety training because it sends the message that safety is everyone’s responsibility. By having engineering, plant management, and supervisors lead training, safe practices can be tailored to specific departments, leading to better adherence to safety protocols and ultimately reducing the risk of accidents and injuries. Establishing a collaborative effort also fosters a culture of safety, where employees are encouraged to be vigilant about safety and take proactive measures to avoid potential risks and hazards.
West Deptford, NJ Facility
Hazard reviews are a key part of Veranova’ s process safety program and there are various levels of hazard review based on the scale and stage of the process being reviewed. This includes performing hazard reviews on covered equipment as well as for the various processes that can be run on the equipment. A program is in place to ensure the appropriate process safety information – both for equipment and process chemistry is in place for the PHA. Veranova also has a risk matrix that defines acceptable levels of risk and is used to identify scenarios requiring LOPA. The site also has a robust mechanical integrity program with critical safety equipment identified and completion of PMs reported monthly. There is significant management commitment at the site and Global level. Every month EHS metrics are reviewed by site and Global management which includes PSM.
Hazard reviews are important in ensuring safety because they identify potential hazards in both processes and equipment. The facility’s process safety program includes various levels of hazard review based on the scale and stage of the process, ensuring that any potential hazards are thoroughly assessed. Ultimately, hazard reviews help ensure that operations are conducted safely and with minimal risk to employees and the environment.