Complete Story
 

05/08/2017

Congratulations to the 2017 OCTC Awards for Excellence Winners!

See Who Won!

Ohio Chemistry Technology Council’s

29th Annual Conference

2017 Awards for Excellence Winners

 

EAGLE AWARD WINNER

 

Kraton Corporation – Belpre, Ohio

In 2016, the Belpre site completed a $52 million project to replace its 50+ year old steam generation infrastructure (coal based) with two new, natural gas boilers with combined heat and power that is capable of producing a third of the site’s electricity needs (not available before the investment). A number of Environmental Improvements were achieved in 2016 as a result of this infrastructure change including an additional 96% reduction in Hazardous Air Pollutant Emissions, A reduction of 15% in Green House Gas Emissions, and A reduction of Ohio River water use of 1.5 million gallons per day. To ensure continued risk reduction and protection of the environment, the site employs a management system promoting continual improvement with the primary purpose of: 1. Leading the people of the Belpre Plant, in focused efforts to achieve full compliance and an incident-free work place, 2. Develop strategies and plans to meet applicable Environmental Laws & Regulations, and 3. Understand community/stakeholder needs and, in doing so, communicate results to achieve the HSES policy.   This will be accomplished by implementing, maintaining, and continuously improving the site-wide Environmental Performance Management System which includes objectives, measures, and work processes. Results delivered by this Continual Improvement Process: 3 years of plant operation without a reportable environmental event including 2016.

 

AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE WINNERS:

 

Ashland LLC. – Ashland, Ohio

Ashland, Ohio's “Safety Team” participated in an Ergonomic RAPID event. This event looked at all areas in the plant to improve workplace safety. During this event they identified 104 opportunities and were able to fix 76 of them in a three-day period. The Team then went on to place 2nd in the BWC Safety Innovations competition. Due to the impact this event had on the plant, leadership decided to bring in a third party Ergonomics firm to give all employees the training to better identify risks in the workplace.

 

Ashland Hilliard Plant – Columbus, Ohio

In the past year, the final part of a multi-year/multi-part/multi-million-dollar Ergonomic Upgrade project was completed at the Ashland Hilliard Plant. Starting in 2013, ergonomic issues with the plant's final purification and packaging steps were identified. Several steps during these processes were physically demanding, requiring several operators to routinely lift and handle kegs (fiber drums) weighing up to 100 pounds. The plant decided to take a two-phase approach to address the ergonomic issues with handling the product. The first phase of the ergonomic upgrade was to make changes to the milling and packaging system. The second phase of the ergonomic upgrade was to make changes to the final purification step of the process. While the site has experienced many production and quality improvements from the upgrades, the reduction of the physical handling of hundreds of tons of product a year was the primary driver for these improvements. The ultimate goal of these projects has been realized, as the site has not experienced any lost time/OSHA recordable injuries from the related equipment since these projects have gone online.

 

ASHTA Chemicals Inc. – Ashtabula, Ohio

During 2016, ASHTA Chemicals Inc. completed revitalization of their environmental supplementary projects on site and hit a significant landmark in safety. The Ashtabula site contains two separate storm water retention basin systems that filter storm water runoff from the site that does not touch ASHTA’s process areas. The basins simply filter existing background level soil contaminants from the water in the form of settled sediment, protecting the nearby Fields Brook. During 2016, ASHTA worked with a certified outside laboratory to ensure the non-hazard status of these wastes and responsibly dispose of the collected sediments. As a result, ASHTA continues to see a further decline in the levels of these preexisting contaminants, already well below any regulatory limits, in the storm water outfalls. In addition to their environmental achievements, ASHTA Chemicals achieved five years and 1,000,000+ Man Hours without a Lost Time Accident in 2016. This success comes from a pronounced safety culture from continuous improvements in safety and operating procedures, monthly site wide ASHTA U classroom sessions, and encouragement to support to practice good safe working habits. ASHTA also completed the full implementation of the American Chemistry Council Responsible Care Product Safety Code. This ambitious program included a review of all produced products to identify and focus on any additional hazards that could be posed to the public and end users, and the vetting and inspection of distributors and customers of the high safety priority products.

 

BASF Corporation - Elyria, Ohio

At the beginning of 2016, the Elyria site launched BASF's Exposure Reduction Process to train the site’s behavior based safety team, UTOPIA, and new observers on the BST ERP methods in order to reduce injuries at the site. All members of the UTOPIA Steering Committee went through extensive training on the behavioral observation process. They also became trainers so that they could make the process sustainable and take over responsibility for training additional observers. The site now has 26 newly trained and highly motivated observers which represent about 21% of the union workforce. And 35 salaried employees were trained in and are actively engaged in safety contacts in the plant. The observers completed over 1300 observations in 2016, identified 12,042 safe behaviors, and 736 at-risk behaviors. The observation process is working in Elyria and changing the behaviors of employees and driving the site to a sustainable safety culture and is evidenced in the Total Recordable Incident Rates (2016 = .52, 2015 = 2.09, 2014= 3.71). The only recordable at the site in 2016 was a recordable illness.

 

BASF Corporation - Elyria, Ohio

The BASF Elyria site recognized that their employees had a difficult time finding good ways to bring safety issues forward for resolution. Many employees felt that items were not being resolved in a timely basis and the site's safety committee was not being responsive or taking action. A joint committee of equal numbers of Union and Management was formed to review work safety concerns. A form was developed that would allow employees to bring up a concern and a solution if they had one. Additionally, the behavior based safety team would document unsafe conditions noted in their observations and give that information to the JTE team. The committee then used a FMEA (Failure Modes Effect Analysis) to determine how much risk the item had. The potential severity of the issue, how frequent it occurs and how easy or difficult it is to detect are rated and multiplied to obtain a risk ranking. The higher the number the greater the risk. Also a passion factor was added. If the item was important to a larger population, this also increased the final risk factor. In 2016, there were 84 suggestions submitted for improvements and the team completed 50 of these projects to date (60% closure rate). Projects completed addressed employee exposures, ergonomics, and at risk conditions. The JTE process is helping to drive and improve the culture in Elyria. Employees get to see their suggestions put into place and know they help to make a difference for themselves and others. The site reduced the number of recordable incidents by 83% from 2015 to 2016

 

BASF Corporation - Greenville, Ohio

Upon review of their elevated work platforms, the BASF Greenville Site discovered their gangways leading to tank wagons were inconsistent upon dispatching. There were several that could allow for a large gap between the bottom rail and the top of the tank wagon. A project was initiated to eliminate this potential. After months of research, engineering and collaboration with the manufacturer, a solution was reached. The manufacturer was able to certify an extension rail that was adjustable to the bottom of BASF Greenville’s existing systems. This allowed for the bottom rail to move up if it hit a tank wagon on the way down and yet be low enough for others if needed. Through teamwork with the manufacturer, the BASF Greenville site was able to come up with a beneficial and cost effective solution.

 

BASF Corporation - Greenville, Ohio

The BASF Greenville site has an ongoing utility reduction as part of their sustainability pillar. Since 2011, the site has achieved a 46% reduction in electricity consumption per ton of product sold. Additionally, they have achieved a 60% reduction in natural gas consumption per ton of product sold. These achievements have come through continuous improvements in productivity, employee engagement in sustainability, and implementation of newer technology. These results demonstrate how BASF is committed to driving sustainable solutions.

 

BASF Corporation - Whitehouse, Ohio

In 2016, the BASF Whitehouse, OH facility conducted a campaign focused on the support of a secure workplace. Annually, the BASF Corporation celebrates Global Safety Days (GSD). In 2016, the Whitehouse security team decided to support GSD by conducting training for the site employees on how to react to an active shooter in the workplace. The Whitehouse security team worked with the local FBI to arrange for a guest speaker during the GSD events. In the second quarter, BASF Whitehouse participated in a Corporate-wide initiative which focused on the security of the company’s electronic information. The Corporate security team sent out a “phishing” email to all of the BASF employees in North America. The Whitehouse Information Protection Officer shared the results of how the employees handled the “phishing” email with all of the site employees during a face-to-face meeting. BASF Whitehouse also initiated a policy where all visitors and contractors who enter the facility must provide a picture form of identification to their BASF contact. This requirement is an additional layer of security to ensure only authorized people are permitted inside of the buildings with the BASF employees. The BASF Whitehouse Security activities support the overall site safety program. In 2016, the Whitehouse site continued their strong safety record with no recordable incidents and a total of 18 years with zero hours of lost time related to worker injuries.

 

BASF Corporation  - Tipp City, Ohio

BASF employees from Tipp City and Whitehouse, Ohio took part in staging an accident scene that tested responders’ ability to perform actions normally associated with initial response to a hazmat incident. The five hour exercise, organized by the Tipp City and Miami County (OH) Local Emergency Planning Committee, included setting up command and control, communications, victim rescue, triage and treatment, hazard identification, site security and crowd management; contamination monitoring and control; residential protection and sheltering. The Tipp City plant manager and production manager, along with Whitehouse EHS supervisor, represented BASF in this drill which involved 115 people in total. Participation in this safety drill was valuable not only for the employees, but to show the entire community that BASF Tipp City is committed to a safety culture.

 

BASF Corporation  - Tipp City, Ohio

In 2014, the BASF facility in Tipp City, Ohio, participated in an internal ecology, health and safety (EHS) audit. One of the findings from the audit was related to insufficient fall protection for the site’s indoor, finished good, tanker-truck loading operation. The audit team identified in their report that the current fall protection system did not meet all of the regulatory requirements and tasked the Tipp City leaders and EHS team with finding a solution. Tipp City site leadership and EHS reviewed the regulatory requirements and discussed how the existing fall protection system (a fully accessible, walkway system) was utilized to meet the needs of the employees. Through best practice sharing and working closely with fall protection vendors, Tipp City site leadership, EHS and Engineering made the case to support a fully automated system. The fall protection installation project took over a year and a half to plan, coordinate and execute. The site employees worked closely with BASF engineering and numerous contractors to help manage the intricate project. The installation of the fall prevention system was completed in the summer of 2016, with a total of 1100 contractor hours and zero injuries. The newly installed system allows Tipp City employees and contractors walking access to all sections of the truck loading area without the use of PPE and without any fall hazards associated with the process.

 

DAP Products, Inc.           - Tipp City, Ohio

The DAP Products, Inc. Tipp City Plant has implemented a new safety program strategy to enhance employee safety. Management realized the need to enhance focus surrounding machine guarding through the facility. First on the project list was to install shaft guards to all paint mixers in the compounding department. A plan was made, designs developed and installation achieved in all areas of need. Not only is it believed to be an industry best practice, the associates themselves had full participation within the project giving them project buy-in and a renewed confidence with safety measures. The plans and designs have been shared with other DAP operating facilities and sister companies. A plant-wide machine guarding audit was also accomplished and the project is ongoing striving to protect all in the workplace.

 

The Dow Chemical Company - West Alexandria, Ohio

The Dow Chemical Company – West Alexandria facility has achieved strong EH&S performance through employee commitment at all levels. One example that exemplified the sustained commitment and EHS excellence is the Fork-truck Safety Team. This team consists of a group of employees from various functions in the site who participate in a regular safety improvement meeting to minimize the risks associated with fork-truck movements around the site. The team regularly highlights the importance of good safety behaviors associated with fork-trucks by sharing an incident with learnings from another location and reviewing near-misses which have occurred on site and implementing corrective actions. The team has also implemented additional technology improvements such as collision alerts at the corners of racks, blue lights to indicate the approach of a fork-truck, and leveling devices which help the driver ensure the forks are in the correct position when removing material from an elevated rack. This team effort has resulted in no significant fork-truck incidents in 2016.

 

Multibase a Dow Corning Company – Copley, Ohio

The Dow Corning Copley, Ohio site recently completed 3 years without an OSHA-recordable incident. There are several site initiatives that have contributed to this success, including the following:

 

Emery Oleochemicals LLC – Cincinnati, Ohio

In 2016, Emery Oleochemicals instituted a new safety leadership system designed to get their manufacturing employees more engaged in the safety improvement process. The program awards points for participation in different safety related activities: Job Safety Analysis, Process Hazards Analysis, Pre-Startup Safety Review, Management of Change, safety coaching, 5S events, participating in one of four safety committees, submitting safety improvement ideas, and others. With a theme of "we watch out for each other", the intention of the Safety Leadership system is to get everyone from being safety followers to a higher, more active level in the safety improvement continuum. In the first year of implementation, 70 employees were recognized as active safety participants with 4 or more points and 20 were recognized as safety leaders having obtained 6 or more points. In addition, departments are recognized for overall level of team participation as part of our Team Profit Performance (TPI) bonus awards. In 2017, the program will be expanding to include office and lab staff in addition to continuing with manufacturing employees.

 

GFS Chemicals, Inc.        - Columbus, Ohio

In 2016, the Inorganic Division began a program to upgrade seven process exhaust scrubber systems. The general scope of this initiative was to fully automate the scrubber operations. Prior to this, the scrubbers were entirely manual. Every function including flow and pH monitoring was done by an associate; creating a tremendous amount of variability in the operation. This automation initiative has created standard operation procedures that now assist with training. The automation upgrades included verification of operation. When the scrubber is required to be on, it must be or the process will not run. There is a continuous verification of pH to indicate any possible excursions or if any neutralization issues exist. There is also a monitoring function for flow to ensure the fan is running properly. All scrubber operations upgraded in this initiative now have full alarming and notification capability. In addition, all scrubber operational parameters are now logged and maintained to indicate any possible trends or the conditions involved in any upsets that may occur. The completion of this initiative not only helped to simplify many aspects of this equipment’s operation, such as record keeping, but it also increased consistency and reliability for critical operational equipment. The site is now able to quickly respond to any potential issues and minimize any potential releases to both air and water while ensuring compliance to all permitting.

 

GFS Chemicals, Inc.        - Columbus, Ohio

In 2016, GFS Chemicals combined their knowledge in the area of security equipment with an identified need to improve safety monitoring in a key production area. The area addressed, is a low occupancy, processing area monitored via an automated control system. The area in which this equipment resides is typically unoccupied for long periods of time and there is no requirement for operator intervention. Through process hazard analysis, it was identified that if something would occur in this area, it could go unnoticed until an operator completed their routine check-in; which had the potential to create a serious safety concern. The decision was made to install a camera in the area which can detect movement and notify plant personnel through an alarm and text message system if something unexpected occurs, such as a steam leak. The addition of this camera greatly improved the safety of GFS associates and has helped reduce the risk of a potential issue going unidentified for a period of time.

 

GFS Chemicals, Inc.        - Columbus, Ohio

In 2016, GFS Chemicals identified and replaced inefficient and insufficient lighting in key areas of its manufacturing and warehouse facilities to reduce electrical utility usage, reduce maintenance labor and material requirements and improve employee moral by making the work environment safer and easier to work in. In their Inorganic Division, they replaced the existing mercury vapor lighting with 16 LED based lighting fixtures. This work was done to support a key production area. The new lighting capability is much brighter and more conducive to safer operations for all operation and maintenance personnel. In addition to this fixture upgrade, an additional 10 - T12 fixtures were replaced with T5 fixtures. An engineering calculation for this area of the operation shows that they have decreased the electrical energy use for lighting by 56% and increased the lumens projected into this production area by 61%. In their Organic Division, they augmented and replaced most of the existing sodium vapor lighting with 18 LED lighting fixtures. All production areas and warehouse areas were upgraded. The new lighting capability is much brighter and more conducive to safer operations for all operation, maintenance and shipping personnel. Engineering calculations show that they have effectively reduced their electrical utility load for lighting in this division by 30% and increased the lumens projected into production and warehouse areas by 40%.

 

Husky Energy – Lima, Ohio

For more than 60 years, the Lima Refinery's process operators have been exposed to hazards from the coke cutting process. The coking process uses high temperatures to break down heavy hydrocarbons, which leaves behind coke, a solid black co-product that accumulates in the coke drums. Previously, an operator was stationed under the drum to monitor the coke in the rail car and then move the rail car. The operator was exposed to hot water, chunks of coke, hydrocarbon vapors and inclement weather. A cross-functional team of front line employees worked from the bottom up to reduce the risk of injury associated with cutting coke at Lima Refinery. Thermal and visual cameras were installed to remotely monitor and move rail cars; removing the operator from hazards. The system enables the operators to clearly monitor and move the cars while cutting from a safe location. Additional benefits include improved product quality, increased employee morale and retention and lower costs.

 

INEOS Nitriles USA LLC – Lima, Ohio

Ineos Lima leadership met with UAM Local 626 to establish a safety plan for 2016 focused on SHE training, strengthening/maintaining their process safety and implementing SHE projects. Based on recommendations generated in the meeting held with the UAW representatives, Ineos moved from a single Employee Safety Training day to two training days. The first safety training day focused on information and training needed to reinforce safety expectation required to complete the 30-day total plant maintenance outage safely. The second safety training day focused on Emergency Response, CPR/AED training and again personnel accountability. Ineos continued to focus on personal safety by having all front line leaders attend a training class delivered by a third party safety training firm. In the fourth quarter two more training programs were held for many of the site employees. Training was provided in an effort to reinforce the Ineos 20 Safety Principals with all front line leaders. Ten of these principles are focused on personnel safety and the other ten focuses on process safety. Thirty employees and contractors received training to ensure that the site has a full complement of people to conduct the initial response for an emergency situation. The slow, methodical efforts of the Ineos Nitriles Lima facility will continue until the facility reaches the Ineos vision of No Incidents, No Harm to People and No Damage to the Environment.

 

Jones-Hamilton Co. – Walbridge, Ohio

In 2016 Jones-Hamilton Co. installed a rail switch activity warning system at its Walbridge, Ohio facility. The system consists of multiple warning beacons that were strategically placed along the rail track in the facility. The beacons are activated when the local rail company is conducting the switch to move rail cars in and out of the site. The beacons alert bulk carrier drivers, contractors, visitors, and employees to use extreme caution when crossing the rail spurs at the site. The warning system increases the awareness of switch activity and improves safety for both the switch crew and our employees. Jones-Hamilton management works with plant personnel to identify potential safety hazards in facility, and this project was a direct result of this initiative.

 

Lubrizol Advanced Materials - Avon Lake, Ohio

During the 2016 planning session (in 2015), the Lubrizol facility selected corrective actions from its facility siting analysis as a focus. In 2015, the facility completed a facility siting analysis that identified parts of the plant that had risks outside of the tolerance levels published by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS).

A silo with a 180,000 pound powder capacity in the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) manufacturing area presented siting concerns due to potential dust explosion risks. Previous AA silo Process Hazard Analysis (PHAs) identified potential dust explosion hazard concerns. Powder silos like the AA silo with potential dust hazards require adequate deflagration venting for safe operations, the AA silo did not meet the deflagration venting guidelines. To evaluate the potential dust explosion venting risks, a cross functional team performed a Levels of Protection Analysis (LOPA) (per the CCPS guidelines), to quantify the risks. The results of the LOPA indicated a need for corrective actions. While there was no regulatory requirement to replace the silo, the Avon Lake facility decided to replace the silo to meet the CCPS risk tolerance levels and make the silo operations safer. Additional evaluations of the silo identified past operator injuries from operational malfunctions, such as plugging and bridging that forced operators to exert much effort in “work arounds”. Solving the operational malfunctions that lead to the past operator injuries also helped to eliminate the dust hazards. As a result of the detailed evaluations, the Avon lake facility implemented a $625,000 capital project that replaced the entire AA silo and its conveying system. The silo replacement served to meet the facility siting analysis risk tolerances by eliminating dust hazard risks, and, it eliminated operator injury risks from past malfunctions such as plugging and bridging.

 

The Lubrizol Corporation – Painesville, Ohio

The Lubrizol Painesville facility utilized the EtQ Reliance software to enhance documentation and communication. The initiative improved processes such as HSES Incidents (injuries, spills, odors and security) along with near misses, Safety Suggestions, and Plant Documents. Among a long list of improvements, site management now has the ability to:

 

OMNOVA Solutions, Inc. – Mogadore, Ohio

OMNOVA Solutions Mogadore plant started an initiative to create a better system for storage and handling of raw materials and make it so that anyone at the plant, even someone with no knowledge of the properties of a specific chemical, could accurately identify and report hazards before they become incidents.

 

The first step to this project was to determine all of the non-bulk materials that come through shipping and receiving, and make a list with their properties. From there, a review of SDS paperwork for every material was conducted and a determination of its incompatibilities, properties, storage requirements, and special handling instructions was assembled. The Shipping and Receiving department attaches a sticker to the drums, totes and pallets of raw material as they are received that shows their local site chemical number, Lot number, and the date received. However, there were multiple colors used to do this and none of the colors meant anything specific. The site team determined this was a perfect opportunity to give the six classifications a color code to associate to their particular properties. Training for the entire employee population of the color coding as well as postings for what must and must not be stored in certain areas of the plant allows for the entire population of the plant to keep track of materials that need storage in special circumstances.Material incompatibilities and incorrect storage can result in catastrophic incidents. This project has created an easy and effective method to manage this issue and reduce risk in the Mogadore OMNOVA plant and community.

 

PotashCorp – Lima, Ohio

The PotashCorp Lima facility has implemented a Real Time Emergency Location System (RTELS) to help locate personnel in the event of an emergency and to help get aid to our co-workers who may suffer an injury or illness while working alone.
The 88-acre PotashCorp site is a mostly outdoor chemical manufacturing facility located on a complex with several other large chemical manufacturers and refining operations. The Potash site consists of numerous processes that include towers, buildings and elevated structures. In the event of an emergency anywhere on the complex, PotashCorp personnel may be called to mustering points to ensure everyone is accounted for and perform any necessary triage of injuries. The RTELS provides a badge to employees that sends signals that allow for locating personnel at a central station or to the desks of the Safety Department personnel. The personnel wearing a RTELS badge can be located within a 120 to 180 square foot location if outdoors or a 30 to 60 square foot area if indoors anywhere within the 88-acre site. The badges also utilize tilt sensors that can send signals to a central station and alert personnel of a possible medical issue affecting a lone worker within the facility. An additional advantage is that through the use of the RTELS mass notifications of incidents or conditions may be sent out..

 

PPG Industries - Barberton, Ohio

PPG Barberton continued to strengthen the sites Process Safety Management Program in 2016 by designing and constructing a new Safety Instrumented System (SIS) for their critical process systems through the use of the Layers of Protection Analysis (LOPA*) Methodology. The results from the LOPA study specifies the types of safety integrity requirements necessary for their Chloroformates manufacturing process based on the potential for each existing layer of protection to fail. This final design is slated to be installed in 2017 and will ultimately improve the reliability of the process safety interlocks in their Chloroformates process and elevate the standard of safety across this critical process to a level that is appropriate for 2017 and beyond. In addition to the LOPA studies, PPG Barberton has been working on enhancing the depth of their facility siting assessments by studying the capability of their existing chlorine gas detection system through a combination of a quantitative performance analysis and gas dispersion modeling. This study will help identify the creditable scenario(s) for a chlorine release for these operations and characterize them in terms of both human impact and detectability limits, and ultimately aid in having a faster response time.

 

PPG Industries - Circleville, Ohio

The PPG Circleville facility is equipped with its own wastewater treatment plant that treats both non-hazardous process wastewater and sanitary waste from the Circleville facility. A waste byproduct of this process is bio sludge which must be disposed at of cost of approximately $1,700 per load. The Circleville EHS team looked into this process and implemented additional settling and decanting steps to help phase separation and reduce bio sludge pounds to landfill. A new loading line and sight glass were installed to allow for loader to visually identify the end of the sludge phase so that water is not being loaded for disposal. In addition, the accumulation tank was modified to add flanges for an external clear-PVC level indicator and automatic overflow line to the flocculation tank. These changes allowed for the Operators to better monitor the settled sludge layer and accurately schedule load times. Implementation of the revised process reduced bio sludge to landfill by approximately 40% over the past three quarters. This equates to a 1.2 MM pound reduction in waste being sent off site in 2016 versus prior years. The site predicts an additional 30% reduction with the second phase of the waste minimization project; for a total reduction of 70% of waste being sent off site from the facility. In addition to the cost savings and reduced waste volumes, this project has improved the knowledge of the EHS operators with respect to the bio sludge process.

 

PPG Industries - Cleveland, Ohio

The PPG Cleveland plant expanded Spill Prevention Teams from 2014/2015 to become Safety Action Teams in 2016 and aligned the projects with plant goals. There are currently 12 Safety Action Teams which are comprised of individuals on all shifts and at all levels of the organizations including operators, engineers, chemists, maintenance associates, managers, supervisors, and plant leadership. The teams are encouraged to complete 1 project in each of the following areas for the calendar year: Safety, Spill Elimination, Ergonomics, Waste Reduction, and a Departmental Focus EHS project. The focus is on “Employee Engagement” as a means not only to generate project ideas but to participate in the implementation process. Emphasis has been on increasing employee involvement and driving EHS to the plant floor. In 2016, over 20% of the plant’s 750 employees were engaged in EHS activities on a Safety Action Team. The Safety Action Teams present progress quarterly to the EHS Leadership team and get scored on meeting consistency, participation, active involvement at all levels of the department, visibility to the remainder of their department on their progress and project completion.

 

PPG Industries - Cleveland, Ohio

PPG Industries Cleveland employees raised an issue to the EHS team regarding their inability to completely drain the DT860 solvent container to assure it was RCRA empty. After investigation by a team of employees including the EHS team, laboratory associates and operation associates, questions were asked as to why this solvent was being used. When the answer came back that “it was always done this way,” this team worked to find an alternative solution which included discontinuing the use of the solvent and substituting with a bulk solvent that would eliminate the need to dispose of these small containers. Since implementing these changes, they have been able to successfully supply all lab areas with the needed amount of solvent without backing up or shutting down lab operations in any way. These changes significantly reduced their waste volume. Comparing volume in August 2015 (2,191 Retain Drums) to August 2016 (1,672 Retain Drums) they had a reduction of 519 drums of waste. Their purchasing costs saw significant reductions also by going to a bulk solvent. (Total purchasing savings = $64,147.20 per year). Additionally, they have seen a significant reduction in the disposal cost of “Paint Retain” waste stream from the Building 46A and Building 46 dock . (Down $192,750 between August 2015 to August 2016)

 

PPG Industries - Delaware, Ohio

PPG Delaware operates a thermal oxidizer unit (TOU) to control process vapor emissions. The TOU fuel source is a natural gas and the operating temperature is determined based on compliance testing to ensure regulatory destruction efficiency (DE) requirements are met. Historically, the TOU operating set point was 1,347 degrees Fahrenheit and all operation performance requirements were met. The facility initiated an engineering study to evaluate the relationship between the TOU operating temperature and DE. The goal was to determine if the TOU temperature set point could be reduced, while maintaining operating performance requirements, in order to reduce national gas consumption. It was concluded that a measurable decrease in the temperature set point could be established while meeting all operating performance requirements. This information was then used for conducting a TOU performance test based on regulatory requirements. As a result of the regulatory test, the facility was able to reduce the TOU temperature set point 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Since the TOU operates continuously, this temperature reduction has a measurable impact on PPG Delaware’s commitment to sustainable energy reductions.The 13% reduction in the temperature set point yielded approximately a 6% reduction in natural gas consumption.

 

United Initiators – Elyria, Ohio

In 2016, United Initiators implemented several safety initiatives to raise safety awareness and increase employee participation in the safety program. A Job Safety Observation program was impended to promote employee participation at all levels in the organization by conducting observations under various categories and complete an observation form noting any deficiencies observed and corrective actions taken. Out of this program 157 work orders were generated and the Maintenance Department completed 153 of them by the close of 2016. The second initiative was to put more emphases on the near miss program and encourage employees to identify and write near misses in order to take corrective action before they had the potential to cause accident or injury. In 2016, a total of 64 near misses were identified. The last initiative was to form an EHS Working Group made up of representatives from each of the plant functional areas with a goal to focus on issues related to EHS in the plant and work with Management to develop and complete beneficial EHS projects to improve safety. The success of each of these initiatives resulted in the lowest Injury and Illness Rate in several years. Over 500 days have been worked without a lost time injury and approaching 1 year without a recordable injury.

 

Valtris Specialty Chemicals - Independence, Ohio

Valtris Specialty Chemicals Independence Facility had zero injuries for the third year in a row. Independence has implemented a new procedure for self-auditing laboratories for safety and housekeeping in the Technical Center. These new audits are expected to continue to drive down near misses and potential EHS&S accidents at the technical center. The program checks all areas of lab safety pertinent to each lab.  Keeping equipment clean and storing chemicals and equipment, when not in use is stressed.  This procedure was adopted to help ensure laboratories were ready and compliant with the GHS work place standard.  Additional elements were added to keep spaces clean and not dangerous to do poor housekeeping.

 

Valtris Specialty Chemicals - Walton Hills, Ohio

Valtris Specialty Chemicals Walton Hills had zero recordable injuries in 2016. Walton Hills continues to strive to decrease near misses and injuries through employee participation. Walton Hills goal is to continue to improve safety culture and achieve continual improvement in EHS&S. Walton Hills has had over one hundred new products added to the facility as part of plant consolidation.  In order for the process to proceed safely, the process hazards analysis and approvals were streamlined so that Walton Hills could complete the project on time, and not have any problems in manufacturing. 

 

Valtris Specialty Chemicals - Wayside, Ohio

Valtris Specialty Chemicals Wayside Employee Participation in EHS&S has demonstrated sustained commitment in 2016. Through Plant Safety Committee and employee communication efforts, numerous opportunities for improving worker safety were identified. Each of these improvements were evaluated and successfully implemented as a joint effort. The actions taken as a result of employee participation in 2016 include ergonomic design changes, fall hazard prevention, housekeeping improvements, and tool changes to enhance worker safety. Wayside has multiple operators working full shifts loading 50 pound bags and placing the loaded bags on skids.  Moving and bending while holding 50 pound bags can easily lead to a muscle pull if ergonomics are incorrect just once.  New employee’s work with established employees to keep from getting injuries. Additional railings have been added to elevated areas to ensure protections from any accident, which could result in a fall.