The Clinton plant joins 12 other Equistar sites also designated as OSHA Star facilities.
Byron Orton, commissioner of the Iowa Department of Labor, presented a certificate and OSHA Star flag to Equistar's Clinton employees in a public ceremony. A number of invited guests and local officials joined Equistar employees at the ceremony. Plant Manager Joe Brenner and members of the plant's VPP Committee, the internal team that coordinated the Star application process, accepted the award. Recognizing the accomplishment were Equistar executives, and Mike White, Vice President for Responsible Care(R).
"OSHA's VPP program sets high standards for safety programs," said James Bayer, senior vice president of manufacturing, "and we decided to participate because of our commitment to be a leader in safety performance and because we believe that strong safety performance makes good business sense."
The VPP process involves demanding systems of measurement, self-evaluation and audits to assess a facility's commitment to safety. Employee involvement in those systems is a critical component. OSHA conducts an on-site audit to verify that a site meets VPP criteria.
Employees at the Equistar plant began preparing to become a STAR site more than two years ago and spent many hours compiling the extensive documentation of plant safety processes necessary for the VPP application. After the application was submitted, a team of five auditors spent two weeks reviewing plant safety procedures, systems and records, and conducting random interviews of plant employees. Following this extensive review, the auditors recommended the plant for Star status.
"This important achievement reflects the commitment of each and every Clinton employee to working safely," said Brenner. "This Star award places the Clinton plant among the best of the best in our industry."
Equistar Chemicals LP, a joint venture of Lyondell Chemical Co., Millennium Chemicals Inc. and Occidental Petroleum Corp., is one of the largest producers of ethylene, propylene and polyethylene in North America. The Clinton plant produces polyethylene plastic resins used for products such as leak-proof and shatter-proof containers for milk, juice and household chemicals, packaging that protects food from spoilage and contamination and children's toys.