Safety in the Specialty Chemical Industry

The health and safety of employees is paramount to the specialty chemical industry. Specialty chemistry produces high-value chemicals, which are used in products vital to consumers and industry and serve a range of important markets including performance chemicals, agricultural chemicals and pharmaceuticals. These chemistries are critical to virtually every sector of the economy and touch almost every facet of our daily lives, and SOCMA members are committed to producing them in a safe and responsible way.

Prioritizing safety in chemical production and transport is more than a practice, it’s a core principle and commitment in plant operations, product stewardship, business partnerships, and community engagement. SOCMA encourages and supports manufacturers to continuously improve their employee safety measures and the security of their facilities.

This core commitment by SOCMA and its member companies is demonstrated through a channel of resources:

SOCMA Leads from Experience
SOCMA’s staff has a wealth of first-hand industry knowledge and expertise that it leverages to lead from experience on safety. The Manufacturing and Operations Department is led by Joe Dettinger, an environmental engineer, and Certified Safety Professional® who has nearly two decades of experience working for a Specialty Chemical company as a chemical operator and an environmental, health and safety (EHS) specialist.

He is supported by Sarah Williams, a chemical engineer who brings more than a dozen years of professional and practical knowledge, most recently managing a health and safety department at a specialty chemical manufacturer. Their knowledge strengthens the programs and services offered to SOCMA member companies.

SOCMA Mandates EHS&S Management Programs for Members
All SOCMA Manufacturers are required to implement and follow quality Environmental, Health, Safety & Security (EHS&S) Management Programs, such as SOCMA’s ChemStewards® program.

The principles of these programs include communication and engagement to foster a greater understanding of safety matters, prioritization of safety in the planning and operations for all new and existing products and processes, and training employees in their safety responsibilities and promoting involvement and accountability in these areas.

ChemStewards® requires annual Performance Improvement Metrics to enhance transparency and company accountability and ChemStewards® verification is completed by approved and certified third-party auditors.

SOCMA Provides Practical Safety Training Solutions
SOCMA’s ChemOps Training is used among chemical companies to Engage Higher Performance. This modernized training tool for chemical facility employees is carefully developed by experienced industry professionals, and all units are designed to teach and promote safe operations including hazard communication, the proper use of personal protective equipment, concepts of process safety management and emergency planning and response. The program also features nearly 50 Chemical Safety Board videos, which are leveraged to drive a deeper understanding of workplace hazards and equipment function.

SOCMA Supports Community Outreach and Engagement
Companies work with Local Emergency Planning Committees (LEPC) and other stakeholders to plan for emergencies, should they occur. These partnerships, along with other crucial programs, strengthen safety processes and procedures.

SOCMA Members Share Best Practices Through Peer-to-Peer Learning

SOCMA serves as a hub for best practice sharing on timely and important topics related to chemical manufacturing and facility operations. Member roundtables are held both virtually and in-person to generate dialogue on shared challenges and practical solutions to improve employee safety. In-person roundtables often feature tours of member facilities, so companies can see first-hand how facility safety is prioritized and implemented by their peers.

SOCMA Fosters Continuing Education for Operations and Safety Managers

SOCMA provides educational opportunities for EHS&S and Operations professionals each year at its Annual Meeting & Summit. This three-day conference and workshop gathers member companies to build industry knowledge around safety, operations and regulatory topics tailored to the unique needs of professionals in the specialty chemical industry.

SOCMA Facilitates Regulatory Compliance for Members

SOCMA provides a suite of guidance and compliance documents to help members comply with important safety measures as mandated by agencies such as the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Throughout the year, it also provides its members with alerts on key changes to safety regulations, to help ensure that facilities are adapting and maintaining compliance as applicable laws and regulations change.

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