We continue to pursue excellence in process safety to better protect our employees, contractors, neighbors and the environment from hazards.
We are committed to building and operating our manufacturing facilities according to stringent standards in order to decrease the risk of process safety events (PSEs). While only two of our facilities are required to meet the strict compliance requirements of the Occupational Safety Health Administration's (OSHA) Process Safety Management (PSM) regulations, our program includes all of our manufacturing operations worldwide. We analyze root causes to prevent future incidents, and we report our PSEs using the widely known Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) definitions.
We continually benchmark and evaluate other manufacturing companies’ process safety programs and investigate best practices in order to improve our own programs. Support for these activities comes at the highest level with the Process Safety Executive Steering Team that meets regularly to review current issues, discuss program enhancements, and provide leadership and support for the process safety program.
We have made good progress towards our goal of designing, building, operating and maintaining our facilities with zero PSEs. Similar to the way in which we view all safety and environmental incidents, each PSE is analyzed to understand its root cause. To help ensure incidents occurring at a given facility are not repeated at another, we share lessons learned and corrective actions throughout all of our facilities worldwide.
We continue to see improvement in our performance as measured by the reduction in our internal measure of significant process safety events, but also in the direct and indirect cost of these events. These events are also categorized using the criteria specified by the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS).
In 2016 we had no Tier 1 process safety events and remained flat year-over-year at two Tier 2 events. To ensure our global organization learns from these and other process safety events, our facilities initiate thorough root cause investigations, the outcomes of which are reviewed by the facility with Cabot senior management. These learnings are then broadly distributed to mitigate similar events globally.
Process Safety Initiatives
Tianjin Plant Wins "Outstanding Pioneer in Safety Production"
In March, the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area (TEDA) held its 2016 Annual Meeting on safety production.
The TEDA management committee recognized five “Elite Pioneers” selected from over 14,000 companies. Qiao Yanzhong, facility general manager of our Tianjin, China plant, was awarded this esteemed recognition on behalf of the facility. The TEDA management committee recommended that other TEDA-based companies learn skills such as excellent safety leadership, advanced experience and scientific and strict management from Cabot and the other four benchmark companies.
Operations Preparedness Verification
Safe and successful operation at Cabot starts during construction and commissioning activities.
We perform operations preparedness verifications, or readiness reviews, on all major projects and installations of new technology. A cross-functional team of operations, engineering, control systems, safety, health and environment, and process safety staff confirm the projects are ready for safe and successful start-up and continued operation. These reviews confirm that operational risks are properly assessed and engineered and administrative controls are instituted appropriately, with the ultimate goal of safe operations for years to come.
Comprehensive Risk Assessment
We have conducted a comprehensive risk assessment review of all of our plant operations.
This included a company-wide operational process and environmental risks assessment for each facility where we evaluated mitigation controls. Additionally, we identified "high priority" operational risks based on an evaluation of frequency and severity. Since completing these assessments, our cross-functional teams have reduced or eliminated many of these high priority risks and we continue to implement corrective action plans.