Louisiana’s Chemical Industry Fighting COVID-19
BATON ROUGE — From the Louisiana Chemical Association:
In the midst of our world’s public health crisis, Louisiana’s chemical facilities continue to go to work creating the things that many of us are using in the fight against COVID-19. In our state alone, scientists, engineers and technicians are producing the chemicals necessary for household cleaning products, medicines and other important resources to keep our families and friends healthy and safe.
To do this critical work, Louisiana’s chemical facilities are protecting employees by emphasizing the importance of site-specific process safety, occupational safety and environmental compliance. Maintaining these high standards is a priority as facilities manage shift changes, environmental health and safety checks, and ongoing environmental monitoring that is central to a plant’s safe operation.
“Our facilities are focused on protecting our people, so they can do the work they need to do to create the products that are more important than ever to the health and safety of our families, neighbors and friends,” said Greg Bowser, president of the Louisiana Chemical Association.
Currently, chemical facilities of all types in Louisiana are implementing industry best practices focused on employee health and safety. Some of those best practices include:
- General Site Protocols:
- Maintaining social distancing protocols in the management of shift changes, environmental health and safety interventions, compliance activities and permit management to minimize any contact among individuals
- Conducting Critical Activity Assessments at each operating location
- Control Room Protocols:
- Isolating operators as much as possible
- Site Entry & Access:
- Screening all employees, contractors and visitors on site, including temperature scans of all who enter the site
- Shift Schedule Management:
- Segmenting groups into teams to minimize redundancy and protect against virus spread
- Implementing segregating shift rotations with an emphasis on keeping employee groups safely separated as much as possible to prevent exposure
- Cleaning and Disinfection:
- Disinfecting and cleaning control room surfaces, kitchens and break rooms at the end of each shift, with additional emphases on high-touch surfaces
- Activating emergency preparedness plans like those in effect for hurricane and extreme weather events
“These are just a few of the many measures our members are using to protect employees and to continue production of materials that play a vital role in the fight against this virus,” Bowser said.
For a full list of the best practices used by Louisiana chemical manufacturers, please visit the Coronavirus Resource page on the LCA website.