Occupational Health & Safety

We continue to pursue excellence in occupational health and safety to better protect our employees, contractors, neighbors and the environment from hazards.

Our Commitment

Our employees are our most valuable asset, and it is our responsibility as an employer to provide a safe work environment and promote wellness across the workforce. This focus on health and safety has been deeply engrained in our company throughout its history and serves as a central theme in our culture. Our goal is for all employees to return home in the  same condition as when they arrived at work. We also strive to help employees lead healthy lifestyles, through a variety  of initiatives and benefits.

Our Performance

We believe that a strong safety culture contributes to the overall success of our business. It allows us to retain talent, remain operational and serve our customers as a reliable partner. As a result, we are diligent in measuring and monitoring our related performance. In 2018, we were pleased to see a decline of nearly 15% in the total recordable incident rate across the organization compared with the previous year. However, we saw a small increase in the total number of lost workdays associated with workplace injuries. 

Our safety priorities in 2018 included the expansion of our Safety Leadership Training program around the world. This training helps develop the skills of our frontline leaders and enables them to better coach their teams on safety expectations and performance. We also expanded the use of location-specific safety improvement plans, which identify safety priorities for the year with a focus on continuous improvement. Through regular communication among our plants on their plans, we are enabling better sharing of best practices and ideas to address common safety challenges. To further our progress on our Drive to Zero, we held training for employees in multiple disciplines across all our regions on improved root cause analysis methods. We know that by continuing to develop our ability to learn from the incidents and near misses we experience, we will be able to make progress on our goal to send all our employees, contractors and visitors home safe, each and every day.

Process Safety

Process Safety EventsIn 2018, we undertook a project to refresh our approach to process safety management so that we may better track our performance and identify opportunities for improvement in our program. In accordance with this effort, we have revisited and updated our approach for how we categorize Tier 1 and Tier 2 process safety events to ensure we report such events as accurately and transparently as possible. Previously, these classifications were considered only for incidents that were reported according to our internal definitions for environmental nonconformances, recordable injuries or significant process safety events. However, we realized a more thorough and accurate approach should also take into account other process safety events that were less significant than those originally considered, which resulted in updates to the historical Tier 1 and Tier 2 classifications.  

Last year, we experienced three Tier 1 events and 10 Tier 2 events. The Tier 1 events included a material release from a relief valve, a release within a process area and a process fire. There were no injuries as a result of these events. The majority of Tier 2 events were related to incidents including chemical releases, most of which were captured within secondary containment, minimizing the impact to the environment. To provide an additional level of focus in our process safety management program, we introduced a series of leading performance indicators that we believe will help us prevent future incidents. These indicators track on-time completion of our process hazard analysis plans as well as closure of corrective actions from events and process safety audits.