Louisiana Chemical Association Recognizes ‘Outstanding Safety Practices’ at 2019 SAFE Awards
BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana Chemical Association (LCA) recently announced the recipients of the association’s “Best in Louisiana” SAFE Award given to four Louisiana chemical plants judged to have achieved outstanding performances in employee and process safety and environmental stewardship.
Greg Bowser, president and CEO of Louisiana Chemical Association, said, “A SAFE award can only be earned by showing multi-year excellence evaluated against the strictest possible industry standards for employee and environmental safety. These companies are all truly the best of the best.”
Bowser noted that 66 facilities at 44 companies employing a total of 19,652 chemical workers took part in the 2019 SAFE project. Participating employees contributed well over $1.6 billion in wages to the Louisiana economy last year and those wages, in turn, create and support an estimated 106,000 other Louisiana jobs.
SAFE participating facilities had an average OSHA safety score in 2018 that was 36% higher than the American Chemistry Council’s national average. All four winning companies, employing a total of 1,610 people, turned in employee incident rates that were either zero or nearly zero.
The winners of the 2019 SAFE Awards are as follows:
The Class 4 (over 400 employees) “Best in Louisiana” winner is ExxonMobil Chemical Company’s Baton Rouge Chemical Plant. “I was very proud to accept the award on behalf of our ExxonMobil Baton Rouge employees,” said David Luecke, Manager. “ExxonMobil is committed to safety and we truly believe we can achieve Nobody Gets Hurt. Our employees focus on staying safe during each work activity, every day.”
The Class 3 (201-400 employees) category “Best in Louisiana” award was earned by Shintech Louisiana. Danny Cedotal, Vice President of Manufacturing, said, “As Shintech employees, we are all very proud to receive the SAFE award from LCA. Our receipt of this award would not have been possible without the commitment of our employees to attain the highest level of Safety and Environmental performance, our management support of their efforts and the inherently safe and environmentally responsible design and operation of our manufacturing facilities. We are committed to continuing to find new ways to improve upon both our Safety and Environmental performance for the benefit of our Shintech employees, contract employees and the communities in which we operate.”
For Class 2 (101-200 employees), the “Best” award was won by Lyondellbasell Lake Charles Polymers which celebrated its 60th year in operation in October. “This award is the result of a strong commitment to excellence, a drive for daily consistency, engagement by all workers at every level of the organization and strong leadership in the field,” said Greg Gray, LyondellBasell Lake Charles Plant site manager. “I am pleased the LCA recognized these qualities in our people. This is truly an honor for our site and we will display the flag with pride.” Since 2018, the facility has invested some $62 million in infrastructure enhancements to production, safety, reliability and the environment.
In Class 1 (100 or fewer employees), the winning plant is Lonza in Lake Charles. Their plant manager, Mark A. Kern, said, “The SAFE award flag is a proud reminder of excellence achieved. We have a knowledgeable workforce, willing to mentor others through safety observations and effective training focused on working safely. We set high expectations for ourselves and others, because making environmental health and safety the highest priority makes everything else we do succeed as well.”
This is the 24th year the annual SAFE Program has quantified safety practices and results at LCA member companies. SAFE stands for “Serious About Fostering Excellence.” Average OSHA accident and injury statistics for all LCA member facilities now represent less than one-fifth the levels when LCA began the SAFE Program.
Four facilities making especially impressive improvement in their environmental and safety performance last year were also recognized with “Most Improved” awards. Winners were Noranda Aluminium in Gramercy, Formosa Plastics & Chemicals in Baton Rouge, Americas Styrenics Chemical Company in St. James Parish, and Rain CII Carbon Lake Charles Calcining Plant.
For more information about the SAFE program, visit the SAFE program website at LCASafe.org.