CLAYPOOL — The ninth annual Global Safety Day at Louis Dreyfus Commodities, Claypool, brought good news. The LDC sustainability award returned to the company for 2018 and the company also celebrated having 14 months of only one reportable injury, the best year in the local company’s history.
The sustainability award was credited to the efforts of Ron Wilson, Andrew Elpers, Troy Furnival and Kurt Anderson on an initiative to get better lighting in the rail yards at night. Dave Selig, plant manager, stated adding electrical lighting to that area was expensive, but with the persistence of Elpers and Wilson, 10 solar lights were installed. The idea was effective for safety and cost. This is the second time they have received the award for an initiative.
Additionally Selig announced the local facility proved safety as a value. “We went all year with only one injury. This is the best year we ever had here at Claypool,” he said noting the journey began 14 months ago. “I didn’t know how we could do it, but knew we could do it,” he said. There has been a steady decrease in injuries since 2015. “We started focusing on safety leadership. If you see something you don’t feel is safe, stop … mitigate it immediately … do it safely or don’t do it. We’ve changed our safety culture. We don’t just run out and get something done. We do it safely or we don’t do the task.”
But the past year was not all roses. “There have been opportunities we need to improve on and challenges the last few months,” Selig said. He briefly talked about two major fires at the facility. A fire at the bio-distillation column resulted in no injuries and the successful handling of the issue was shown. This fire caused a change in operating and shut down procedures.
The second fire was in the pellet mill, traveling to the pellet cooler, the pellet cyclone and then to the pellet bag house. Selig noted the fire suppression system controlled the fire with the assistance of Claypool Fire Department. Since then there has been increased fire suppression systems installed. Selig stated 35 items have been gone through and corrected in the pellet mill system and over 40 items gone through and changes made in the distillation column. “There are a lot of opportunities to make changes, address and move on.”
The event recognized accomplishments at the local facility such as 4.6 million recognition points awarded to employees; 300 job safety observation, 1,193 job hazard analysis, 43 training events, 1,038 alternative condition reports with employee participation. Anderson touched on Safety Health and Environment capital spending going over the capital projects that cost $675,000 and the 2018 SHE capital projects with a budget of $595,000.
Claypool Safety Champions were recognized and received a fire extinguisher as a gift. Program supporters included: Josh Ciesiolka, Cody Patterson, the Commodity Peddlers and Ron Wilson. Employee safety champions, those who went above and beyond included: Kevin Walsh, Trent Ptak, Aaron Chew, Roger Frye, Don Petersen, Denny Miller, Derek Bussard, Andrew Elpers, Gary Ray, Josh Sexton and Nate Stull. Summet Water was presented a certificate of recognition for its effort in helping with resolving wastewater issues.
Bob Eckert, North American Chief Financial Officer; Olivier Raffray, North American Rehabilitative and Compliance leader, Anderson, SHE manager at Claypool, and Selig presented the safety day program.
Demonstrations and information areas were available following the program.