In April, Ian Lambert CEO Lucite International (LI) wrote about subtle signs of market optimism in his first article for the LI blog. As we enter the third quarter of the year, these remain but trading conditions around the world continue to be challenging.

“Concerns about the Eurozone debt crisis, and its subsequent impact on economic growth in Europe and China, persist. It is at times like these that I recognise the benefits of the merger of Mitsubishi Rayon Co. Ltd and LI and the creation of a true global leader with an unrivalled portfolio of products, technologies and customer and supplier relationships. Since the merger we have achieved significant synergies internally and are now working towards the development of a global approach to a range of issues, including supply and demand planning, which will enable the businesses to take advantage of our combined assets and the skills and experience within each organisation.

“As we continue to evolve and deliver these improvements, it is also essential that we do not sacrifice the distinctive local character of our business in each market nor our ability to retain our intimate understanding of individual customers and their needs – one of our core values. Another core value is our passion for safety. In the chemicals and materials industry, this is a critical issue, which is fundamental to sustainability and our role in the community.

“Toward this end, work is well underway on our Process Safety Management (PSM) improvement programme. All senior manufacturing managers and regional general managers underwent Process Safety Management leadership training last year and a newly-developed LI PSM Foundations course is being delivered through 2013 to all site managers and supervisors – the people who have the most direct influence on how process safety is managed at a practical level at our high hazard sites.

“At the same time, we are refreshing and improving our Asset Integrity Procedures (AIPs), introduced a decade ago. These ensure critical equipment continue to provide a robust safeguard against Major Accident Hazards.

“Attaining good process safety performance is to control one of our most critical business risks. To achieve this requires highly trained and motivated people driving the right processes in a way that ensures the integrity of our plants. A key attribute of the programme is to improve consistency of AIP interpretation and compliance.

“The development of the new AIPs programme will progress through the rest of this year, with the rollout of the refreshed standards and guidance scheduled for the early part of 2014.”

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