2015 National Chemical Safety Symposium Recap

October 20-21, 2015
Houston, TX

Contact: ChemStewards at chemstewards@socma.com

Join event email list for updates.

View 2015 Photos

2015 National Chemical Safety SymposiumThe 2015 National Chemical Safety Symposium – hosted by ChemStewards® brought together more than 120 SOCMA members and other industry professionals to hear subject-matter experts from industry and academia discuss the latest trends and methodologies in process safety and operational excellence used to create a safe and secure manufacturing environment.

During the event SOCMA also celebrated the 10th anniversary of its flagship environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) management program with a reception honoring members that have been with the program since its inception. The reception was complete with a celebratory cake and balloons.

With process safety and occupational excellence as main topics, keynote speakers Dr. Thomas Connelly, Executive Director of the American Chemical Society (ACS), and Dr. M. Sam Mannan, Chemical Engineering Department Regents Professor from Texas A&M University, reinforced the need for developing a safety culture in chemical facilities and labs.

Mannan, who returned for his third keynote address at the symposium, told attendees that creating a safety culture starts with strong leadership, training, setting goals, implementing metrics, holding employees accountable and reinforcing behavior by rewarding those who meet or exceed expectations.

"Any organization that wishes to improve and sustain process safety performance must clearly establish performance goals and objectives,” he said. “Goals feed objectives and objectives feed strategies."

Mannan said, "Failure to learn is one reason we see incidents like West Texas happen over and over again. A competency assessment matrix is needed."

A critical part in building a safety culture starts with leadership, Connelly said. Good leaders provide direction and lead the charge. They establish safety policies, seek open communication and build trust. Leaders also show an active commitment to safety, inspire others to value safety, and lead by example.

"I am responsible for my own safety and the safety of those I work with" is a key safety principal guiding industry, Connelly said. He also told attendees injuries can be prevented, and 96 percent of injuries result from actions of people.

"Safety is not about metrics; it’s about the people and avoiding pain and suffering for employees and their families," Connelly said.

Connelly also stressed that collaborations between industry and academia can enhance safety cultures in academic research labs and better prepare students for industrial careers. "Tools like ChemStewards for Labs can assist organizations in creating a safety culture in both industry and academic labs," he said.

Highlighting the morning lineup, Safety Symposium attendees heard a case study about Eli Lilly's implementation of PSM, received information on AIChE's Vision 20/20 program, which provides companies with process safety resources. Industry representatives also shared process safety challenges and best practices during a panel discussion. In the afternoon session, attendees received great information on navigating news and social media during a crisis, heard an update on industry news from Washington, and heard from an industry panel about operational excellence and how it can work for your company, among other great informational sessions.

Leading into the symposium, Jerry L. Jones, a process safety consultant with AIChE, led a workshop on Identifying Process Safety Incident Warning Signs with more than 70 attendees. Jones shared a wealth of information on process safety, provided examples of warning signs and shared case studies. He also had attendees break into groups to discuss normalization or deviance or drift and come up with examples they have heard about or seen. He said those looking for incident warning signs need training, and everyone in an organization needs to believe that all accidents are preventable. He also stressed that risk management should be a core competency of any organization.

Thank you to all of our 2015 National Chemical Safety Symposium Sponsors!

Return Home

Thank you Sponsors!

PSRG - Gold Sponsor

KMCO - Registration Sponsor