Complete Story


Congratulations to the 2018 OCTC Awards for Excellence Winners!

See Who Won!

Ohio Chemistry Technology Council’s

30th Annual Conference

2018 Awards for Excellence Winners



The Lubrizol Corporation – Painesville, Ohio

The Lubrizol – Painesville facility has completed a multi-phased project that spread across a 4-year period at a cost of approximately $70 million. The vision project included construction of a new access road for employees, visitors and contractors, relocation of employee and contractor parking, installation of two storm water detention ponds, remodeling of the security truck gate, construction of a 30,000 square foot building with state-of-the-art automated packaging of 55 gallon drums and 330 gallon totes, construction of a dedicated staging area to accommodate up to 40 truck trailers, construction of a 150,000 square foot shipping warehouse with 10 truck loading docks and remodeled the old shipping warehouse to efficiently function as the receiving warehouse. Footprint of the project was engineered to avoid impacts to critical habitats resulting in the disturbance of less than 0.5 acres of low quality wetlands. To offset this impact, 8.4 acres of high quality wetlands and approximately 300 linear feet of Tiber Creek



ASHTA Chemicals Inc. - Ashtabula, Ohio

During a routine audit of ASHTA’s Environmental Safety, Health and Security systems a detailed analytical investigation revealed that certain waste streams were being characterized and disposed of as more highly contaminated than they actually are. ASHTA set a goal of reducing the toxicity of an existing waste stream. The Ashtabula site is a zero discharge facility and recovers rainwater from both the current process areas and other site areas previously impacted by years of air deposition from local industrial activities. The water recovery systems include sediment removal and solid filtration that generate a combined regulated waste stream of varying contamination levels. Waste shipments with higher, heavy metal, contamination levels require special disposal at a distant site, which adds additional transportation risks. ASHTA’s Production team set upon to segregate, investigate, classify, and then analyze, the various wastes with a goal of defining the source of the highest contaminated materials. The filter cake, which produces the largest bulk of ASHTA’s waste, proved not to require special disposal. Since the implementation of the team’s recommendation, only one waste container has required the special disposal due to higher heavy metal contamination and the amount of high-contaminant waste has been drastically reduced by ASHTA. After comparing to three years records of waste disposal costs, a significant operating savings is projected going forward.

ASHTA Chemicals Inc. - Ashtabula, Ohio

During 2017, ASHTA was faced with new security regulatory requirements that would include vetting and records requirements of on-site workers. Many contractors and vendors felt disadvantaged and considered rejecting employment opportunities due to the additional requirements. To encourage the contractors to comply, ASHTA worked with other local chemical facilities in Ashtabula to implement a third party database as a one-stop shop for vetting employees. An inspector from the Department of Homeland Security approved this methodology in March of 2017. ASHTA led a series of meetings with local employees to help them recognize the value of uniform standards for vetting their workers, followed by clear communication of exactly who in their work teams met the requirements for authorization of unescorted access. Additionally, this method allowed ASHTA and the local employers to avoid the liability of having access to Personally Identifiable Information, yet having the assurance of reliable records source for regulatory compliance. This implementation allowed smaller companies and local professionals to meet DHS personal surety requirements in a cost effective manner.

Ashland Columbus – Atlas Street Facility

In 2016 a new batch dryer was turned over to production staff for normal operations. The dryer is used to remove residual solvents from the product by adding heat and vacuum to help drive the solvent from the product. After start-up it was discovered that it would only take 5-10 dryer loads before the cloth filter on the end of the vacuum arm would plug with the sticky powder and prevent good vacuum from drying the product. Whenever this would happen it would cause quality issues that required reprocessing before the product could be sold. Sometimes it would also cause serious mechanical damage to the dryer due to the product being sticky and creating bolder sized balls in the dryer. While both these are inconvenient and costly, it also created serious safety concerns every time the filter had to be replaced or maintenance repairs had to be completed. In order to do so, a mechanic would have to do a man entry in an elevated confined space by turning the dryer sideways and climbing more than 10 feet into the dryer through the hatch. Then remove a portion of the vacuum arm to take back to the shop where he would replace the cloth filter and repeat those steps to re-install the part that was removed. A permanent solution was installed in late 2017. The permanent solution was to remove the cloth filter from inside the dryer and install a new filter housing and associated piping outside the dryer so that the cloth filter could be replaced as needed by production operators. Since the exterior filter has been installed (approximately 20 dryer loads) no man entries, no loss production time, quality issues or other maintenance issues have been caused by filter plugging or poor vacuum.

Ashland LLC – Ashland, Ohio

Ashland LLC. Ashland, Ohio facility is constantly striving for continuous “SAFETY” improvement. The plant has a mature Near-Miss system that gives the employees an opportunity to record safety concerns, suggestions, near-miss, spills and incidents. The plant further works to improve EH&S with a weekly meeting “Safety-Leadership”. These weekly meetings give employees the opportunity to review, introduce and discuss safety concerns with all departments and management and follow their progression to completion.

Ashland Columbus – Harmon Ave. Facility

Harmon Avenue Columbus, Ohio's “Safety Team” participated in an Ergonomic RAPID event. This event looked at all areas in the plant to improve workplace safety. During this RAPID event, they identified 51 opportunities and could fix 14 of them in a three-day period. The team worked with a local contractor to complete many projects that were unable to be addressed in the three-day period.  Due to the events positive impact, the plant is seeing more opportunities through our Near-Miss program. Ashland LLC. has been making these RAPID events a priority and employees are enjoying a safer more ergonomically correct workplace.

BASF Corporation – Greenville, Ohio

BASF is one of the leading suppliers of coatings to the automotive industry.  The facility in Greenville produces electrocoats, paint resins, and clearcoats.  Recently, BASF has introduced a line of electrocoat products, which are vital to protecting today’s automobiles against corrosion.  These products have been formulated to deliver the improved performance that the auto industry expects, and they do it while reducing the customers’ impact on the environment.  In order to improve air quality, the new electrocoats are free of hazardous air pollutants and have a low VOC content.  When an auto plant uses the new electrocoat products, they are able to reduce the amount of biocide used and eliminate sulfamic acid consumption.  Filter life is doubled, which reduces the amount of waste generated.  All of these benefits are delivered by a product that is more materially efficient; the consumption is reduced by over 25% when compared with previous technologies.

BASF Corporation – Greenville, Ohio

BASF Greenville, OH site has embraced a recent initiative within the company which identifies 10 Life-saving Rules that if executed properly will reduce or eliminate the potential for injury. The ten rules are: Safe Work Permitting / Confined Space Entry / Lock, Tag, and Try / Fall Protection / Suspended Loads / Atmospheric Testing / Protective Devices / Excavation / Hot Work / Line Break. The site focused their efforts in the “Safe Work Permitting” area as it has been identified for achieving best-in-class performance. A cross functional team of both BASF and Contract employees was formed to identify gaps, review existing procedures, develop additional checklist, and implement a new training program which will allow Safe Work Permit Issuers to execute their duties with a high level of confidence and consistency. Pilots of the new program allowed for input from both new and seasoned permit issuers which identified a few areas to be tweaked. Training has reached nearly 40 site employees with an expectation to encompass all permit issuers by years end and forward. The program has been shared with sites outside of Greenville for further evaluation.

BASF Corporation – Whitehouse, Ohio

The Site Security Team at BASF Whitehouse decided to review the badge access system, mechanical door locking systems, key control, and site signage. Individual employee door access rights and access times were updated. Security system door schedules were modified. These changes were made to improve the safety and security of onsite employees and authorized visitors. All exterior metal door lock sets were replaced with panic exit devices. The devices were selected to improve safety by having single motion devices on exterior egress doors and eliminate the ability to unlock the door without a key. A Key Control program was developed to define the control of door keys. Site safety and security signage was updated to provide more visibility, be in line with corporate signage standards, and address changes in state law.  Two new panel signs were purchased to replace all existing safety and security signage at the site.  Site Security Representatives were trained by FBI representatives on exposure reduction through understanding radicalization in addition to the potential for weapons of mass destruction. In 2017, the Whitehouse site continued their strong safety record with no recordable incidents and a total of 19 years with zero hours of lost time related to worker injuries.

Covestro LLC – Hebron, Ohio

Covestro’s goal was to increase safety with forklift operations by implementing a minimum safety standard and minimizing forklift/personnel interactions where possible.  This can yield increased safety with forklift operations and minimize human errors to eliminate forklift incidents as well as prevent personnel injury and facility damages. The program focused on three main areas:

  • Training and information for all personnel, organize a "pedestrian awareness training" for all non-drivers and separate pedestrians and forklifts as much as possible.
  • Reduce forklift operations in production areas where possible and look for alternative systems. Re-think plant layouts and process work flows to reduce forklift activities.
  • Define minimum safety devices for existing forklifts. Invest in additional passive safety systems as we replace or upgrade older trucks.

The Dow Chemical Company – West Alexandria, Ohio

A cross functional team from the Dow West Alexandria site found a way to reduce waste, save costs and deliver new customer solutions. Faced with significant price increases through the waste vendor outlets a cross-functional team was assembled to determine if there was any value to be gained from two solvent based by-product streams generated through one of the standard production processes. The results of the year long process are significant. These two industrial solvent by-product streams, were moved from a waste stream to products that are usable through select downstream outlets as they are manufactured. This solution generated $200,000 in annual savings from disposal costs. The team was able to work together as a group to find a creative solution that addressed sustainability, cost savings, and team collaboration for the benefit of all. A true win for all- more solvent by-products will be put to work and a cost savings has been realized by the site.

Fort Amanda Specialties, LLC – Lima, Ohio

Over the past three years, Fort Amanda Specialties, LLC has improved their safety performance through several major drivers, which has resulted in a three year period with no OSHA recordables after having three in 2014. Employee Participation was encouraged through a Behavior Based Safety Program to address unsafe behaviors or situations, and incident investigations where employee contributions are important in resolving incidents Management Participation is another driver through plant management participation in pre-job safety reviews and permit issuance and a system of metrics and self-auditing to identify opportunities for improvement. Systemic Incident Investigation is a process where plant incidents are reported and investigated for a root cause. This process has addressed hundred of potential unsafe acts or situations and significantly decreased the risk of them reoccurring. Lastly, Management of Process Safety is a proactive process to prevent occurrences instead of reacting to them; resulting in a 5X increase in the equipment where the plant executes full Mechanical Integrity testing and inspection.

GFS Chemicals – Columbus, Ohio

In 2017, GFS Chemicals identified a need to improve and standardize general training methodology across the entire company. The training programs reviewed in each division, including the training for Environmental, Health, Safety and Security (EHS&S) were maintained on paper and in electronic formats. Variations were identified between divisions in document formatting and content as well as variations in deployment and tracking methods used to create records of completed training. The decision was made to purchase a Learning Management System (LMS) called “SafetySkills”. The system has been brought on-line to support the training program improvement effort. The learning management system consists of individual training plans that get developed for each employee. Not only is required regulatory training included in an associate’s plan, but also individualized training that is tailored to their specific job and the equipment that they would be required to work with. During the development of the pilot, Associates and their Managers are trained to use the system for self-paced curriculum completion. The progress and results of the training are maintained in the LMS. The improvement effort will continue to grow and expand to each and every employee at GFS Chemicals. This system will help maintain critical operational skills and knowledge base for the entire company.

GFS Chemicals – Columbus, Ohio

In 2017, GFS Chemicals had an opportunity to utilize wireless monitoring technology to improve the safety of GFS personnel. The challenge that needed to be addressed involved employees who worked in areas where contact with other employees was limited throughout their shift. It was critical to be able to identify where a person was located, when and if they required assistance. GFS Chemicals purchased and installed a Grace T-Pass Lone Worker Immediate Notification System to monitor associates that are working during 2nd, and 3rd,, shift hours at our McKinley manufacturing campus. Each associate is assigned an individual monitor that remains with the employee throughout their shift. The status and locations of these monitors are sent through a base station in our central lab that is monitored throughout the shift. Alarm stations were also installed in the key areas of the manufacturing campus. These alarms will alert other employees to check-in to the base station to determine what response may be needed to assist another employee. The addition of this notification system greatly improved the safety of GFS associates and has helped reduce the risk of personnel in need of assistance going unidentified for a period of time.

Husky Energy Lima Refinery – Lima, Ohio

Husky Energy Lima Refinery is now using an improved and standardized Safety Planning Worksheet process for turnaround maintenance, capital projects and a special ongoing project retrofitting the refinery for crude oil flexibility. The worksheet has improved the relationship between the Safety and Turnaround Teams and has become the new standard on how planning and hazard recognition and control is approached when it pertains to turnaround and capital projects at the refinery. In 2017 the Safety Planning Worksheets were added as a tracked document to the turnaround planning software, which streamlined the process of developing, accessing and getting this information to people in the field. The safety plans are now included in the complete work plan for each line item. The planners and safety department now work together to develop these plans, making safety built into the job process from the beginning. Having these plans in the database means the facility already has plans in place for repeat work or work taking place outside a turnaround. The worksheet initiative supports Husky Lima’s overall commitment to safety.

INEOS Nitriles USA LLC – Lima, Ohio

The Lima management team and the UAW Local 626 met and developed a safety plan that was designed to achieve a strong safety culture with a goal to create a “Culture of Prevention”.  The Culture of Prevention builds off the idea that all incidents can be prevented if the proper planning takes place before executing any task.  During 2017, the ideals of a Culture of Prevention started to be ingrained in the pre-job assessments by both the site employees and contractors. All meeting and communications referenced the Culture of Prevention and how it can be tied to every task we complete.  Lima also recognized that it is equally important to be prepared in the event of an incident so we can assure our commitments and operate in a way that would not impact the Lima community. Two safety training day classes were completed with the INEOS employees. These training days included topics such as key procedures, CPR/AED and emergency response and were all kicked off with the Site Director explaining the Culture of Prevention and how it will help us achieve our vision. Aside from these specific training days, the complex partners worked together on a security preparedness exercise with the FBI out of Washington D.C. called Livewire. Due to this initiative, a cultural shift has started to take place and the employee incident rate has dropped from 1.4 in 2016 to 0 in 2017.

INEOS Nitriles USA LLC – Lima, Ohio

The Lima Process Safety Committee (LPSC) was formed in 2001 to promote and enhance process safety in the chemical manufacturing section of the integrated BP petrochemical facility in Lima, Ohio. The committee remains in place today at Lima Chemicals, part of the European-based global chemical firm INEOS.  Lima Chemicals is a world-scale producer of acrylonitrile and associated chemicals.  The LPSC has helped the organization successfully manage the safety and environmental risks of producing and shipping millions of pounds of flammable and toxic material on an annual basis. The LPSC meeting structure is designed to support a proactive behavioral and process safety culture, developing initiatives as needed and ensuring compliance with the Lima Chemicals and INEOS safety policies as well as regulatory requirements. Meeting monthly, team members represent HSE Professionals, Operations Management, Union-represented operators, Maintenance, Engineering, Contractors and the Mechanical Integrity function. The committee monitors key behavioral and process safety activities/metrics for Lima Chemicals that support compliance with OSHA Process Safety Management (PSM) and EPA Risk Management Plan (RMP) requirements, including plant safety performance, significant process incidents / near misses, Process Hazard Analyses, incident tracking, Management of Change, operator training and action item completion. The LPSC is helping the site achieve our INEOS Nitriles business vision of “No incidents, No harm to people, and No damage to the environment.”     

Jones-Hamilton – Walbridge, Ohio

At the end of 2017 Jones-Hamilton celebrated a safety milestone, achieving 2,000 days with not LTA.  The event was celebrated with an award sweatshirt and breakfast events for all the employees working the plant. During the event, employees could write a concern or idea down to for program improvements.  Over half of the plant workforce responded. Management met after the events to look at all the EHS ideas and determine an appropriate response or action. Some of the work the facility had to do off of 6-10 foot step-ladders was being engineered with overhead work platforms for better accessibility and safety. It was determined that weekly vacuum system maintenance would eliminate buildup and issues with capture. Since the breakfast event these and other ideas presented have helped show leaderships commitment to responsible care and employee ownership.

Lubrizol Avon Lake Facility – Avon Lake, Ohio

During the 2017 planning session (in 2016), the Lubrizol facility selected water conservation as an opportunity for improvement.  In 2013, the facility achieved a 53% reduction in water usage, on a per unit of production basis.  In 2017, the company achieved another 31.9% reduction in water usage.  The Avon Lake facility produces a large volume of water-based products and generates a proportionate amount of waste water.  Lubrizol Avon Lake invested in mass flow meters for each production and utility/service building that allows for tracking water usage, which is logged on a plant data historian.  The plant data historian allowed the facility to establish reliable water consumption trends over several years.  The data trends indicated an average of 2.77 million gallons per month of water usage unaccounted for. Since there are miles of underground water lines, it took a significant amount of data collection, evaluation and some “detective” work, to determine the most likely source of the leak. As a result of these efforts two main water lines were identified for repair.  The water line repairs have resulted in an average of 2.77 million gallons per month reduction in water loss.  This is not only a Responsible Care achievement but an annual savings of $167,000 in water and sewer charges and 31.9% reduction waste water treatment operating costs on a per unit basis.  

McGean – Cleveland, Ohio

In order to further reduce waste, McGean has incorporated a waste analysis into their new product program. Before any new product is made, it is determined if any wastes or by-products generated can potentially be re-used in production for future batches. By incorporating this into McGean’s quality program it has become a mandatory step in setting up new products for manufacturing.

PCS Nitrogen – Lima, Ohio

The PCS Nitrogen Lima facility is constantly trying to improve safety performance.  The site has always involved the contractors in our safety process, but in 2017, contractors were asked to take an even more proactive role in eliminating workplace injuries. Contractors now take turns with each other and with PCS leadership, leading meetings that are attended by all site personnel.  PCS Nitrogen leadership also utilizes contractors in their 26 weekly safety leadership training sessions each year. Additionally, every Monday morning, each contract company working in the plant, and PCS departments, meet to discuss the scheduled work for the week, what significant injury or fatality potentials (SIF's) exist and what will be done to mitigate the hazards. These meetings have created a great opportunity for everyone to work with their counterparts at other companies or departments to identify any scheduling conflicts. Finally, the PCS managers each get a chance to address the group, which allows interaction with the managers and shows the workforce their level of safety commitment. 

PPG – Cleveland - Ohio

In 2017, a Filter Initiative Team was started to review the use of filters and subsequent waste generation from the Cleveland facility’s dry booth paint spray application operations. The team, which included managers, supervisors, engineers, and technicians, was able to transition from a conventional 2 filter system to just one filter, resulting in significant waste reduction (480 drums of hazardous waste/year), cost reduction (filter purchases), and productivity gains (less frequent filter changes). Sustainability can be further leveraged for additional waste minimization at any facility that utilizes dry booth paint spray applications. 

PPG – Barberton, Ohio

The PPG Barberton Teslin® manufacturing process uses trichloroethylene (TCE) solvent to remove oil added upstream in the process. A multi-level solvent recovery system is utilized to reclaim a large percentage of the TCE used in the process. A team was developed to reduce TCE emissions through setting strategic goals in 2017. The team was successful in reducing TCE emissions by 29% from 2016.

PPG – Barberton, Ohio

PPG Barberton’s Local Emergency Planning Committee (LEPC) includes PPG employees and local first responders from Barberton, Norton, and New Franklin (i.e., police, fire, and HAZMAT teams). A full-scale emergency drill was executed in September 2017 with participation from an estimated 100 responders. This drill involved capping a chlorine railcar leak. All objectives were met successfully and a formal critique was conducted following the drill for continuous improvement.

PPG – Barberton, Ohio

PPG Barberton implemented the following program improvements related to powered industrial trucks (PITs): blue lights were installed on all PITs to indicate the “halo zone,” traffic indicating sensors were installed in the OLED department, and the backs of intrinsically safe PITs were painted red to identify those from non-intrinsically safe PITs.

PPG – Euclid, Ohio

In September 2016, the PPG Euclid facility conducted site-wide training on Human Performance; a system that focuses on the use of process improvement tools to eliminate human error and improve a sites overall performance. The main focus of the program’s training is to gain an understanding of how errors truly occur, what error traps are and how to recognize them, and what tools should be used to reduce the errors. In 2017, the PPG Euclid site focused on reducing injuries, spills and customer quality errors. Each employee attended an 8-hour initial training on Human Performance and the tools associated to reduce error rates in the work place. Once all training was complete, a 2017 Human Perfomance training calendar was set up to keep the language and tools fresh in the employers minds at all times. To increase sustainability even further, the facility tied tool usage and practices to a Behavioral Based Safety internal program and a measurable metric that was tied into a Performance Award Plan for the entire facility. Human Performance in 2017 helped the PPG Euclid facility reduce OSHA recordable cases by 50% and DART cases were reduced from 1 in 2016 to zero in 2017. Additionally, the facility saw a 100% reduction in the amount of recordable spills at the facility from 2016.

PPG – Delaware, Ohio

Human Performance (HP) identifies causes of human errors and provides specific tools to help eliminate them. HP empowers employees regardless of title or tenure to contribute equally to the safety and operational excellence of PPG Delaware’s operation. HP implementation was established by Plant Management as a 2017 facility initiative. With management support, HP was effectively implemented by planning the site wide HP roll out. This roll out consisted of defining HP rollout objectives, communicating HP with the entire facility population, identifying and developing internal HP experts/trainers, training the entire plant population and sustaining HP through the use of various teams and committees. Once it was established that HP would be a 2017 facility initiative, Facility Leadership began developing a communication campaign surrounding HP. Supervisors were given the needed information to field questions from employees as HP was actively being implemented. HP was communicated during monthly Safety Meetings as well as frequent updates being posted on the facilities media display.

Solvay Specialty Polymers USA LLC – Marietta, Ohio

Solvay Group introduced the Life Saving Rules to strengthen safety management at all sites worldwide.  The new Solvay-Marietta parking shuttle service program focused on one of the Life Saving Rules –Traffic –and the steps that locally could be taken to help prevent accidents, to help prevent injuries and to help save lives. Positive growth at Solvay-Marietta has strained available site parking and challenged compliance with the Life Saving Rule – Traffic. Many employees had to drive personal vehicles within the plant fence line in order to park. Although there had been no serious incidents with personal vehicles or pedestrians within the fence line to date, these vehicles added to the typical plant traffic congestion and created blind spots, which increased accident risk frequency. With the new satellite parking lot and a quality shuttle service in place for employees, the Life Savings Rule –Traffic risk was mitigated; frustrations with parking were mitigated; potential personal property damage to vehicles was reduced; and potential plant areas were unlocked for accessibility and efficient use to better support both current and future growth for the Solvay-Marietta site. Pedestrian walkways in the plant were realigned and upgraded to improve visual management for pedestrian safety. Finally, plant security was strengthened by eliminating driving and parking of personal vehicles within the plant fence line and by enhancing stringent guidelines for vehicle access to plant property.

United Initiators, Inc. – Elyria, Ohio

In 2017, United Initiators, Inc., implemented a project to replace/convert traditional lighting with high efficiency LED lights at its Elyria, OH facility.  LED lights are significantly more efficient using reduced energy consumption with comparable lumen output and longer life spans (3 to 5 times) than traditional lighting.  Replacement of traditional lighting with LED lights results in a reduction of energy consumption by 75% - approximately 101,251 kilowatts per year.  The cost savings from the reduced energy consumption is approximately $25,000 annually.  Additionally, due to the reliability and longer life span over $15,000 is saved annually in reduced maintenance and repair costs attributed to the new LED lights.

Valtris Specialty Chemicals – Independence, Ohio

In order to lower injuries and improve safety awareness at Valtris Specialty Chemicals sites.  The old behavior based system was assessed for effectiveness, and a new system was chosen to renew awareness of risks.  Implementation was initiated in 2017.  This has been launched at multiple plants, and the recordable injury rate has already trended down.  As this program is implemented at more sites, the recordable rate is expected to continue toward 0.




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