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America's Safest Companies: Dow Corning Corp. Dow Corning Inc.

America's Safest Companies: Dow Corning Corp.

The 16 companies on the 2015 list of America's Safest Companies represent a broad array of industries: construction, manufacturing, utilities, oil and gas and more.

It's easy to say safety is a core value, but Dow Corning takes that sentiment to heart.

After acquiring a silicon metal site in Alabama, the specialty chemicals company decided to shut down the facility. Continued electrical failures and safety assessments had revealed that the electrical infrastructure at the site posed too great of a risk.

Dow Corning shut down the site and completed a $25 million capital project to replace much of the electrical infrastructure.

"Having a successful safety program is much more than just complying with legal requirements or managing lagging metrics," Russell Kerlin, HRO project leader and Mike Snyder, corporate safety director, say in their award application.

The company breaks down "What Good Safety Looks Like" – its safety framework – as: demonstrated leadership, clarity of expectations, operational discipline and risk management.

"From reminding employees to hold handrails when using stairs, to prohibiting cell phone use while driving, to encouraging employees to call a timeout when safety is in question, to mandating participation in regular safety meetings throughout the year, we involve employees daily in the safety process," say Kerlin and Snyder.

In this way, the company tries to manage the inputs instead of the outputs of the safety process to shape the culture.

Dow Corning extends its safety expectations to its contractors and customers, too, only choosing to continue to work with companies who exhibit the same safety values.

"We work closely with contractor companies – especially those that regularly work at our facilities – to help enhance their safety programs and better equip their employees to work safely," say Kerlin and Snyder.

Dow Corning Corp.
Midland, Mich.
11,243 employees/215 EHS professionals
Specialty chemicals

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