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  • Safety White Paper

     

     

    For years, those employed in the chemical industry have known that the safe operation of chemical plants is essential to the industry’s continued ability to survive. That is why EHCMA member companies have invested more than one million hours annually in health and safety training. EHCMA members participate in mandatory and voluntary emergency response drills and training that are routinely reviewed and tested for continuous improvement.

     

    For EHCMA companies, risk is an everyday job. It can be seen in such simple things as the clothing our employees wear—fire-retardant clothing, hard hats, safety glasses, and steel-toed shoes. But managing risk goes much deeper than protective equipment and even beyond the required Federal and state programs. These mandated programs include:

     

    Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA)

    OSHA's mission is to assure the safety and health of America's workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health.

     

    Federal Laws –

    o    Comprehensive Emergency Planning and Community Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA)

    o    Emergency Planning and Community Right-To-Know Act (EPCRA)

    o    Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA)

    o    Other Federal laws to consider, including:  OSHA and HMTA, and more

     

    Risk Management Plans

    The purpose of risk management is to ensure levels of risk and uncertainty are properly managed so that a project is successfully completed. It enables those involved to identify possible risks, the manner in which they can be contained and the likely cost of countermeasures.

     

    Process Safety Management

    A comprehensive management program that integrates technologies, procedures and management practices, and which is intended to prevent or minimize the consequences of a catastrophic release of toxic, reactive, flammable or explosive hazardous hydrocarbons (HHC's) from a process.

     

    EHCMA member companies are proactively engaged in voluntary continuous applications of safety measures. Most member companies also are members of Responsible Care, the U.S. chemical industry's award-winning performance initiative that has resulted in reduced emissions of 70 percent, and an employee safety record that is four times better than the average of the U.S. manufacturing sector.

     

    Within our communities, Responsible Care based initiatives support the sharing of information about our operations, products and risk control processes, including safe operating and transportation practices, incident investigation and emergency planning and response. Many member companies also are members of CIMA, Channel Industries Mutual Aid where members work cooperatively to respond to emergencies.

     

    Other organizations that promote safety in the chemical industry, in which many EHCMA member companies voluntarily participate, are the Center for Chemical Process Safety, which brings together manufacturers, insurers, government, academia and expert consultants to lead the way in improving manufacturing process safety; and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

     

    More than 1,000 employees from member companies devote more than 50 percent of their job function to plant safety concerns.

     

    As an industry, extreme care has been taken to identify, analyze and control hazards of all types at EHCMA member sites. According to the US Department of Labor[1][1][1], the number and rate of fatal occupational injuries of the chemical industry (2.5)[2][2][2] is far less than workers in the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector (31.2), the construction industry (11.7) and the transportation and warehousing industry (17.5).

     

    Studies have indicated that leadership and accountability are important foundations of effective safety programs. Development of an effective safety program is not accomplished solely by management; both employees and management must have input in the design and implementation of programs.

     

    Today, more than ever before, it is imperative that the chemical industry maintains open lines of communication among our peers to exchange health and safety information and to reduce the probability of an incident. The men and women of EHCMA are trained and prepared in the unlikely event of an industrial incident that may impact the community.

     

    EHCMA member companies are proud of our achievements in the area of safety. We continually push ourselves to perform better every day because it is the only responsible way to do business. EHCMA’s Mission is “”To promote the health, safety, environmental and economic well-being of our industry and of the communities around our plants.”

     

     

    [1][1] US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census of Fata Occupational Injuries, 2003

    [2][2] Fatality rate per 100,000 employed

     

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