Safety has always been and will continue to be the top priority of the refining and petrochemical industries — which is why refiners and petrochemical manufacturers are consistently ranked in the top industries for safety out of more than 500 U.S. manufacturing industries. The people who work at our facilities know that it takes a daily commitment to maintain this high level of safety and remain vigilant.
“Everything we do is aimed at creating an accident-free, incident-free workplace to make sure employees and contractors can always be there for their loved ones. That’s what it’s all about,” shared Marathon Petroleum Company (MPC) Director of Refining Safety, Security and Process Safety Management Fritz Kin.
This intense commitment to safety spurred the creation of the AFPM Safety Awards 30 years ago. The awards, which recognize outstanding workplace safety, are part of a comprehensive program developed by the AFPM Safety and Health Committee to promote safe operations in the refining and petrochemical industries. They also recognize facilities that have outstanding occupational and process safety performance. As Kin noted, “just applying for these awards requires facilities to meet very high standards.”
It is with pride that AFPM honors our members for their commitment to safety and their outstanding safety performance each year. In turn, we’re rewarded with the pride our members show when they receive a safety award. One of Phillips 66’s facilities has won AFPM’s top honor, the Distinguished Safety Award (DSA), for the past six consecutive years. This year, its Sweeny Refinery was honored with a DSA for outstanding safety performance in addition to its Billings Refining receiving a Gold Elite Award.
Michael Wirkowski, Phillips 66 Interim Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Projects recently said, “this continued industry recognition of Phillips 66’s focus on safety year after year shows our safety culture and hard work go above and beyond to help keep our employees, contractors and communities safe.”
Although the awards program is celebrating its 30th year, our industries have been focused on safety and the continuous goal of improving on our performance for much longer. Many of our companies have been a part of their communities for decades, with some employing family members from multiple generations. This is why award winners commonly stress the importance of keeping not only themselves and their facilities — but also their communities and neighbors — safe.
“Monroe Energy is deeply honored to receive AFPM’s Distinguished Safety Award for 2021. The safety of our operations for the sake of our team members, and our neighbors, is the cornerstone of every single decision we make. By operating safely, we earn the trust of our community and the industry at large. We are delighted to have received this significant recognition by AFPM because it recognizes our team members’ hard work and the results of what it means to put safety first every day,” said Bill McEnroe, Health, Safety & Security Director, Monroe Energy.
Enhancing safety can take many forms with our companies continuously evaluating and improving personal and process safety procedures. They then share best practices and lessons learned with their competitors for the betterment of the entire industry. Everyone — employees, neighbors and shareholders — benefits by putting competition aside and sharing this information. Companies also know the importance of creating a work environment where employees feel comfortable reporting safety concerns and potential hazards. These are just a few examples from a long list of ways member companies work to continuously improve safety and to keep people safe.
Randy Tatum, Site Manager, Morris Plant, LyondellBasell, expressed the industries’ view best when he said, “really there is no greater honor than being recognized for a culture of continuous improvement that ensures our employees and contractors return home safely to their loved ones after a day of work at our facility.”
The 2021 AFPM Safety Award winners were honored at a May 12 ceremony at the 2022 AFPM National Occupational & Process Safety Conference & Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas. In addition to the Distinguished Safety Award winners, recipients of the Elite Gold, Elite Silver and Innovation Awards were honored. Learn more about the AFPM Safety Awards and see the full list of 2021 Safety Awards winners.
The American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is the leading trade association representing the makers of the fuels that keep us moving, the petrochemicals that are the essential building blocks for modern life, and the midstream companies that get our feedstocks and products where they need to go. We make the products that make life better, safer and more sustainable — we make progress.