The Husky Energy Lima Refinery improved communications with contract employees to increase safe operations at the refinery. As a result of increased communication efforts, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration reported the contractor’s injury rate to be reduced by 77%. A contract employee committee, monthly bulletin and improved audit form all contributed to the success of their efforts. The facility proved that teamwork, collaboration and communication are all vital to the safety of employees.
Americas Styrenics’ Hanging Rock facility is committed to manufacturing, handling, transporting and disposing of chemical products safely. Through a variety of capital project upgrades, synergies, repairs and refined work processes, the facility successfully reduced greenhouse emissions and improved air quality. The facility also worked to improve the quality of life for their employees and community through the giving of resources, time and encouragement.
Ashland Specialty Ingredientsrecently introduced the Hazard Recognition Plus (HRP) thought process to help employee’s recognize hazards both in the workplace and at home. HRP is a systematic approach to identifying and handling hazards, helping employees eliminate, manage and protect one of eight energy sources in order to mitigate situations. This system allowed for sustained growth in the safety culture of the facility by arming their employees with tools that include awareness and education.
ASHTA Chemicals achieved a year of excelling beyond regulatory requirements in safety, health and environmental performance. Starting in 2011, the facility made a three-year effort to achieve and uphold the Responsible Care Management Guiding Principles. Some of the crowning achievements in this initiative were reaching 67,000 man hours without lost-time accident, increasing participation in safety observation tours in 2014 by 15%, achieving a fourth straight year of no Reportable Quantity Releases and receiving the “Best of County Business Excellence” award.
The Color Technology Laboratory at the BASF Corporation’s Whitehouse facility implemented several new changes that reduced ergonomic issues, and the laboratory’s use of solvent; therefore, decreasing the impact on the environment. The employee led improvements had an immediate and positive impact on employee comfort in the Color Technology Lab, leading to increased employee morale and ownership of facility practices.
Bayer MaterialScience took a “grassroots approach” to safety from the employee point of view. The E.A.S.E (Employee Assisted Safety Environment) Team provides operators and technicians with a direct voice regarding changes in safety processes and practices. One of the team’s biggest projects was streamlining the complex “Master Tag”. The E.A.S.E team members create a positive and motivating work environment and are ambassadors for an improved safety focus.
The DAP Products’ Tipp City facility implemented a new safety program strategy to enhance employee safety. Facility management built an exclusive safety training center with state-of-the-art equipment and training resources to house their Safety Cell Group method of training. Additionally, the facility implemented a peer led safety committee that gave associates the ability to have total buy in for their safety.
In 2014, the Dow Chemical Company’s Hanging Rock facility implemented a project to help mitigate a potential dust explosion, the plant’s largest process safety concern. By partnering with an industry leader to engineer a process control monitor system, the risk of an event heavily decreased while ensuring the dust collection system operates at peak performance. The project implemented sensors alert operations of unsafe condition and, if needed, automatically shutdown the process.
The Dow Chemical Company’s West Alexandria facility achieved exemplary comprehensive employee engagement in 2014. The facility experienced no OSHA recordable injuries, process safety incidents or reportable spills. This was made possible through the use of high quality employee programming, including the Cross Functional Site EHS Team, Fresh Eyes Program and Safe Work Permit Training Assessment, engaging employees through team work, collaboration and peer review.
Emery Oleochemicals began producing eco-friendly polyols using recycled scrap foam at its facility in Cincinnati. The entire production unit was transferred from its prior location in Sterling Heights, Michigan as the project moves from pilot plant scale to a commercial operation. The move was completed in less than three months by their maintenance team with no safety incidents. Their InfiGreen® Recycle Content Polyols are made from recycled polyurethane scrap foam and can function as a direct replacement for petroleum-based polyols.
In 2014, GFS Chemicals’ Fulfillment Center, also known as the Research and Analytical Division, upgraded from traditional propane forklifts to new electric forklifts. Electric forklifts experience less brake wear, which result in less maintenance and are able to transport chemicals to rooms with flammable chemicals, helping to diversify their use. From a health and safety perspective, electric forklifts have no tailpipe emissions, making the facility better and safer for associates.
GFS Chemicals’ Inorganic Division recently upgraded their security measures as a partnership between the facility and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. By working with a neighboring business to clear out overgrown brush along the perimeter and adding eleven additional security cameras in strategic locations, the Powell facility greatly enhancing their security performance in 2014.
INEOS ABS USA dramatically reduced SO2 and CO2 emissions by replacing their coal boiler with a natural gas boiler. This two-year project on average reduced SO2 emissions from 438 tons annually to less than 1 ton annually, CO2 emissions from 80,000 tons annually to an estimated 43,000 tons and particulate emissions from 13 tons annually to an estimated 3 tons. As the steam from the boiler is a central component to their production, changing to a natural gas boiler was an important change with a large impact.
INEOS USA kicked off 2014 with the goal of reenergizing their behavior-based safety program by engaging their employees with ownership of the program. The site created a steering committee to develop a plan, which was reviewed and accepted by the leadership team. Over the past year, INEOS USA lowered their incident rate to 0.4 with only one OSHA recordable. Moving forward, the facility plans to strengthen this process and keep all members active in safety programming.
Jones-Hamilton exceeded compliance with their environmental performance in the spirit of Responsible Care and the company’s policy of “continuous improvement in pollution prevention.” A low velocity mist collector technology was added to 4 HCI emission control units over a 3-year period at a cost of over $200,000. In 2014, maximum production rates showed a 98.6% reduction in emissions compared to testing in previous years.
Lubrizol Advanced Materials in Avon Lake identified hazardous waste reduction as an opportunity for optimization. The facility eliminated 78,400 pounds of hazardous waste by transitioning a by-product alcohol material (tBA) into beneficial re-use. After extensive research and inquiry, the facility identified a customer for the alcohol. Several samples and trials confirmed the value of the alcohol to the customer, and the material is now under contract and sold as a Lubrizol product. This saves the facility over $43,000 annually.
Lubrizol Advanced Materials’ Brecksville facility is reducing energy usage by upgrading to LED lighting, which is more energy efficient, durable, versatile and long lasting. The upgrades included 125 fixtures, 50 light poles, bases and underground infrastructure. This was the second and third phase of the exterior lighting upgrades. The completed project is estimated to save between 40-50% of the current energy usage.
In 2014, Lubrizol Advanced Materials’ Brecksville facility installed a strobic fan concept for their new exhaust systems, which allowed multiple exhaust ports to be centrally collected in one main high-volume discharge fan. This design eliminates the confined space and potential exposure to chemicals. This is the third of six phases in the project. The system is part of the facility’s systematic approach to health, safety, environment and security.
In 2014, the Lubrizol Corporation’s Painesville facility developed and executed a strategic initiative to strengthen their community relationships by maintaining strong programs already in place and expanding and strengthening new relationships and programs. In 2014, the facility expanded their focus to ensure the community was as prepared for emergencies by using a 4-pronged approach that addressed community leadership, local schools, first responders and local businesses.
The Lubrizol Corporation’s Wickliffe Research and Development facility developed a new system for electronic waste characterization and recordkeeping to replace an over 17-year-old system. The new system was developed with critical analysis in order to create a more efficient and user-friendly design. Over five years, more than 70 employees were involved in the design, testing and implementation of the recommended changes. The new system addresses all of the components necessary for safe and efficient electronic waste management.
McGean strives to reduce hazardous waste generation every year. One method the facility utilized was to find new uses or users for their waste streams. In 2014, instead of being disposed of as hazardous waste, 200 tons of liquid waste was used by other facilities. Additionally, all of the facility’s waste scrubber acid was sent to a facility that reused materials to produce industrial chemicals.
Omnova Solutions reduced employee exposures to chemicals by 90% by implementing the Lean Six Sigma tools of Process Mapping, Problem Solving, Kaizen and Visual Management/5S, as well as engineered controls, visual management, and industrial hygiene knowledge. The facility proved their commitment to employee safety by taking a broad approach to the many areas that affect employee safety.
The PCS Nitrogen facility in Lima is committed to a philosophy of continuous improvement for safety, health, environment and security issues. By installing a medium pressure condensate stripper, the facility reduced VOC emissions by 485 tons per year and ammonia by over 1,000 tons per year. The reduction of steam vented also reduced noise levels in nearby residential areas. Additionally, the project reduced natural gas use by approximately 1.5 million cubic feet per day and fresh water needs by 20 to 25 million gallons per year.
The PPG Industries Circleville facility utilized several opportunities over the past year to reduce diversion events. A TOU Diversion Evaluation Team consisting of EHS personnel, management, engineering, maintenance and production supervisory personnel met monthly. They analyzed process upsets and associated data, improved equipment and controls and developed corrective actions. The project led to a 50% reduction of air emissions at the combustion header and 75% at the inert header.
The Shepherd Middletown Company achieved and has since surpassed the benchmark of operating safely with zero OSHA recordable injuries for 3 years. Initiatives that have helped achieve these goals include the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Management System, 5s implementation system, Safe Start critical error reduction, corrective and preventative action programs, and a commitment to honest, two-way communication between team members and management.
Tremco’s enhanced safety program addresses a diverse range of safety issues, including field and construction safety, plant and manufacturing safety, administrative and warehouse safety, process safety and driver safety. Each of these categories appropriately addresses the most important topics for the specific field. As a result of the new programs, Tremco reduced their total recordable incident rate from 1.94 in 2013 to 1.17 in 2014, a reduction of 40%.