At midnight on April 11 of this year, our Garyville, Louisiana site celebrated a landmark safety achievement – exactly three years, or 1.86 million work hours, of zero recordable injuries under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines.
“OSHA’s criteria are very specific,” explained Garyville’s Senior Safety Health and Environmental Superintendent Sammy Edwards. “Broken bones, cuts requiring stitches, and sprains or strains requiring prescription medication are all recordable.”
The Garyville factory manufactures industrial wastewater treatment chemicals, water solutions used in boilers and cooling towers, and process chemistries for the food and beverage, paper, petroleum, power generation, mining, steel and aluminum industries. The approximately 200 employees face routine hazards associated with chemical manufacturing throughout their workday – among them potential chemical exposure and physical hazards such as high temperature and pressure – but Sammy said the group’s extraordinary focus and commitment to working safe has kept their stellar record intact.
In addition to the three-year milestone without a single OSHA recordable injury, it’s been more than 13-years or 7.2 million work hours since the site’s last lost-time injury. Lost-time injuries are considered more serious than OSHA Recordable injuries, as they prevent employees from returning to work on their next scheduled day.
“Our top three priorities are personal safety, process safety and regulatory compliance,” he continued. “We discuss these concerns with our teams every day, along with the safety of colleagues and how important it is to understand that injuries affect not only the injured, but that individual’s family and co-workers as well.”
In addition to this daily dialogue, various departments and shift supervisors hold 10-15 monthly safety meetings during which they typically discuss the previous month’s near misses and review critical procedure requirements such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) usage, fall protection, confined space entry and emergency response.
“I believe the performance of a facility directly reflects its employees’ attitudes toward safety, and our employees are the reason for our success,” he reemphasized. “This accomplishment belongs to them.”
Congratulations to the Garyville team for reaching this milestone and keeping each other safe.