2018 Performance Improvement Gold Award Winner
Monument Chemical also received its first Gold award for its exemplary efforts in improving environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) at its Brandenburg, KY, facility. The company accepted the Gold Performance Improvement Award at SOCMA’s 97th Annual Dinner & Meeting on December 10 in New York City.
Headquartered in Indianapolis, IN, Monument Chemical serves the specialty chemicals industry with locations in the heart of manufacturing hubs in the U.S. and Europe. They produce a variety of solvents, intermediates, specialty fuels and other specialty products, as well as offer industry-leading custom manufacturing services.
Monument Chemical’s quest to becoming the best of the best:
Monument Chemical Kentucky’s stakeholder engagement program, which nurtures and sustains a mutually valuable dialogue with the community, wowed the judges. The facility holds quarterly meetings with the Local Emergency Planning Committee, quarterly drills with emergency responders, as well as monthly rescue team training to ensure readiness. The company also implemented a new product approval process to improve product stewardship and ensure efficient evaluation of potential product. The process is called “IDEA”(Inquiry, Design, Execute, Analyze), where all affected groups evaluate manufacturing risks before new products are approved for production. For daily safety awareness, the facility implemented a site-wide 2nd Nature Card, which offers a personal job-hazard analysis for operators and contractors. Monument also improved its employee training and engagement by developing stations that simulate process equipment at each unit operation. Monument also utilizes alternative means to reduce hazardous waste into the environment. The facility installed a new tank and piping to neutralize corrosive streams, which allows them to treat the material biologically on-site rather than disposing it off as hazardous waste. “This application represents a mature and successful EHS&S program that is continually improving,” the judges said.
Monument Chemical also won the Educational Outreach Award. The facility supports the Chemical Educational Foundation’s You Be the Chemist program and the Junior Achievement’s Inspire Fair and Expo. These programs give students an opportunity to learn about chemistry and chemical industry careers and inspire and prepare young people to succeed in a global economy. While participating in these programs, Monument employees also serve as ambassadors for the industry, talking with students about their futures in chemistry.
“These awards place us at the top of a list that includes many impressive companies, said Adam Pingel Site Manager. I couldn’t be prouder, not just of our HSE organization, but of every Brandenburg employee for the unwavering commitment to the environment, health, safety, and security that they demonstrate every day. And we’re also happy to be recognized for our work with the young people in our community – to hopefully inspire the next generation of scientist and engineers.”
What we have learned and changed in our organization in the last 3 years
To be successful in HSE, we believe you have to set common expectations, while also encouraging employees to think outside of the box. At first, these two goals might seem to be in conflict, but they actually work together. For example, we recently created a comprehensive Environmental, Health, Safety, and Security Management System Guidance document – available and promoted to all of our employees – so that everyone is on the same page, quite literally. However, we also encourage our employees to challenge each other if they have an idea about how to improve our HSE activities. It’s okay to deviate from the “this is how we’ve always done things” thinking because there’s often a better way of doing things. Then, as we gather that input from all levels of the site, those improvements become a part of our standard guidance.
Message to other member companies
Complete involvement and better transparency among all levels of our organization continues to move us towards successful outcomes. We continually set our expectations – while also soliciting input from our employees. Alignment and a consistent, open dialogue are both critical for moving us forward.
Being honored with a Performance Improve Award is a showcase for our customers, auditors, suppliers and vendors. It also shines a positive light on our company within the community and provides peer-to-peer validation within the industry. More importantly, it provides a visible signal to our employees that we are committed to their safety.
Continuous improvement is an infinite plan. It’s a journey all employees must take together, so that we can stay safe and do right by each other, our customers and the community in which we operate.
How they plan to use their recognition as a competitive advantage
Our customers care deeply about our commitment to HSE. They want to know that we can provide them with high-quality products and continuously deliver service and results that live up to all of our commitments, particularly in HSE.
Our favorite word in the SOCMA award is “improvement” – and this is something we discuss with our customers on a regular basis. While it’s true that we celebrate HSE milestones, we understand our success will always rely on our commitment to the journey. There is no such thing as “perfect” – only a never-ending focus on working together to make improvements (large and small) in everything we do – every single day.