OxyChem receives top safety rating

December 22, 2012

December 20, 2012 – The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) recently granted renewal of its MVPP Star Award, the state’s highest workplace safety and health award, to Occidental Chemical Corporation’s (OxyChem) calcium chloride manufacturing facility in Ludington. The MIOSHA program is part of the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).

“OxyChem’s Ludington Operations’ long-time commitment to workplace safety and health sends a strong message to other Michigan companies,” said MIOSHA Director Martha Yoder. “They have created a corporate culture where workplace safety and health is consistently held as a top priority. Their record shows that a safe workplace provides the foundation for a productive workplace.”

MIOSHA established the Michigan Voluntary Protection Program (MVPP) program in 1996 to recognize employers actively working toward achieving excellence in workplace safety and health. Since 1999, Michigan has recognized 28 MVPP Star companies. This is the most prestigious safety and health award given in Michigan. OxyChem’s Ludington facility first received MVPP Star approval on October 10, 2001, and was recertified in 2006 and 2009.

The Ludington facility’s incidence rate and lost work day rate are well below the Michigan average for their NAICS code 325188 − All Other Basic Inorganic Chemical Manufacturing. Their total case incidence rate (TCIR) was 0.0 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, compared to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) industry average of 2.0 in all three years. The total day’s away/restricted cases (DART) rate was 0.0 in 2009, 2010, and 2011, compared to the BLS industry average of 0.8 in 2009, and 0.9 in 2010 and 2011.

The MIOSHA review team consisted of Brian Kellogg, CET Safety Consultant; and Dave Humenick, CET Industrial Hygienist. During the review, the team conducted six formal and 10 informal interviews. The team examined various elements of the safety and health management system, and found them to effectively address the scope and complexity of the hazards at the site.

The Ludington facility workforce includes more than 120 employees and contractors and produces trademarked calcium chloride ice melt products such as PELADOW*, DOWFLAKE* and LIQUIDOW*. The facility has an exemplary safety and health record, and has exhibited outstanding leadership in recognizing that a comprehensive safety and health system is critical to successful businesses today.

The Ludington plant has strengthened its safety and health management system since their 2009 evaluation, including:

All employees continue to have annual safety goals and are required to participate in key safety procedure assessments.

The pre-job safety analysis process has improved by replacing the safety task analysis card (STAC) with the new continuous hazard analysis tool (CHAT) process. The new process helps to ensure that potential hazards are continually analyzed as conditions, processes, and/or policies change.
The site has identified six key areas of focus that have the potential to lead to a severe injury or incident, which receive increased scrutiny and evaluation.

The Oxy Task System (OTS) has been implemented. This electronic tool is used to assign and track completion of Health, Environmental, Safety, and Security (HESS) compliance.
The site’s Lockout/Tagout Program has been totally revamped and is now known as Lock, Tag and Try, and requires the use of locks on all isolating devices (a tagging system was previously used for most chemical process operations).

Both the Confined Space Entry Program and the Fall Protection Program have been updated.
The line and equipment opening procedures have been modified to include stricter PPE requirements.

Changes have been implemented to the contractor management process, which include more detailed and better documentation of pre-job reviews.

OxyChem is a wholly owned subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies, based on market equity capitalization. OxyChem manufactures and markets basic chemicals, vinyls and other chemicals used in water treatment, paper production, pharmaceuticals, construction, automobile manufacturing, soaps and disinfection products, among others. For every product it makes, OxyChem’s market position is No. 1 or No. 2 in the United States, and No. 1, 2 or 3 in the world. OxyChem is committed to safeguarding the environment and the health and safety of its employees and surrounding communities. Information is available at www.oxychem.com.

Betten Baker Ford

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