Waterford Site Praised For Making Safety A Fundamental Part Of Its Culture
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has renewed Evonik’s Waterford, N.Y., site’s acclaimed Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) Star certification.
The VPP program encourages companies to voluntarily go above and beyond promoting effective safety and health programs by making safety a fundamental part of the culture. Waterford first received VPP Star status in 2001 and has maintained the certification ever since.
“VPP Star is OSHA’s highest recognition for rigorous safety and health practices,” said Heiner Rieck, director of manufacturing, Aerosil & Silanes at Evonik’s Resource Efficiency North American operations. “The VPP Star certification is an extremely prestigious achievement that our Waterford team worked diligently to attain. I congratulate each and every member of the Waterford team for this honor.”
Becoming a member of OSHA’s VPP Star designation is not easily achieved, added Kevin F. Jordan, plant manager at Evonik’s Waterford facility. “It is an intense process,” he explained. “Up to five OSHA team members visited the site for a week- long evaluation of management leadership and employee involvement, work site analysis, hazard prevention and control and safety and health training. Everyone here worked very hard to achieve this. Thus the VPP Star designation is something all of us are proud of.”
Statistically a VPP work site has 50% less recordable incidents than the average for the industry, added Evonik Process Specialist Mike Slingerland. “We have been recordable free for the past three years. Being a VPP Star site means that everyone takes part in OSHA’s audit of our practices,” he continued.
OSHA interviewed nearly one third of the site’s employees about their opinions or concerns in their jobs. Because of his extensive expertise in safety, Slingerland was named an OSHA Special Government Employee (SGE) and was trained by OSHA to assist with offsite audits at plants across the country. “I have become experienced at recognizing inadequacies and best practices at other plants and have brought best practices to Waterford. Improving safety at the site is an ongoing project,” he adds.
Jordan says the site is well known for its strong emphasis on safety. The plant has received the American Chemistry Council’s prestigious Responsible Care 14001 (RC14001) certification, which recognizes Evonik’s continuing efforts to improve its environmental, health, safety and security performance.
Evonik’s Waterford facility manufactures AEROSIL® Fumed Silica, which is used to improve the performance of numerous products including paints, adhesives, sealants, and other applications.
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Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.
Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.
In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.