Lucite International’s (LI) Fite Road site in the US has been awarded Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP) recertification as a Tennessee Star site after a recent, extensive audit conducted by Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration (TOSHA). Tom Eubank, Fite Road’s Safety, Health and Environmental Manager, was immensely proud to share this ongoing story of achievement.
In early December 2015, TOSHA representatives conducted an audit of the procedures, systems, operations and employee relations during a four-day visit to our Fite Road operation. Tom said: “We had total plant participation – that’s about 102 employees on site each day and around 50 employees being interviewed over the four-day review period. The auditors were very impressed by this level of contribution and it certainly demonstrated that we have a strong, shared culture that is passionate about every facet of safety.”
Mark Champagne, Health & Safety Manager for our operation in Beaumont, Texas was also involved with the audit to help prepare for the site’s push to become VPP certified in 2017. He said: “Being involved in the audit helped me see the programs and processes that Fite Road has in place that can be shared regionally. This will ensure Beaumont has all the essential elements in place and working by 2017 so that we can welcome OSHA’s team of auditors onto our site confident of obtaining the OSHA Star Certification.”
David Blessman, TOSHA’s VPP Manager, expressed his appreciation and admiration to the entire LI team, recognizing their efforts to prepare for the audit, to work with the auditors as needed, and to remain dedicated to retaining VPP Tennessee Star status. He also confirmed that the Fite Road site is one of 37 facilities out of a total of 18,000 eligible in Tennessee that have met the requirements for VPP-Tennessee Star status.
An important part of continuing to improve overall safety performance is being addressed using the SafeStart program. Now in its second year, SafeStart emphasizes the need for personal commitment to SAFETY. Tom explained: “We have seen positive strides at all locations with SafeStart. The Company’s commitment to invest in the program as the vehicle to drive continuous improvement and help reach our goal of zero incidents further demonstrates how critically important SHE to the organisation. Implementation of SafeTrack, the auditing part of the program across all sites will help drive even greater progress in the future.”
Commenting on the Fite Road team’s efforts and energies that went into achieving recertification and their ongoing diligence to continually improve SHE performance, Tom said: “Our employees understand the importance of being personally committed to safety each and every day. This award acknowledges the effort made by each member of the site team to ensure we can not only meet the requirements of the Tennessee Star Program, but also continuously improve toward the goal of zero incidents. While it is a great honor to receive the award, we must understand the future challenge it represents. Standing still is not an option because each day brings a different need and it must be met with the same scrutiny and enthusiasm that will allow the Tennessee Star spirit to abound.”