Jan. 26, 2006 – Larry Kupfer, Hovensa president, said the refinery's celebration last week was not about prizes as much as it was about the safety record. However, the two employees who were driving home brand new pickup trucks might be forgiven for thinking it was a little about the prizes.
Hovensa employees had an OSHA recordable injury rate of 0.5 last year approximately one injury for every 200 hundred employees.
Alex Moorhead, vice president, said this was the best safety performance of Hovensa employees ever and an improvement of almost 50 percent over the injury rate in 2004.
He credited the achievement to "the cooperation and attention of the employees" at the St. Croix refinery. Hovensa employs approximately 1,300 people.
He noted that Hovensa placed in the top rankings of U.S. refineries for low injury rates for a second consecutive year. The injury rate is determined by the U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration log compiled at Hovensa. Moorhead said if any misinformation is submitted the employer would be subject to sanction.
The refinery marked the achievement last week with a weeklong celebration.
Officers and directors of the company met with employees in their work areas to thank them for their contribution to the exemplary safety performance.
Moorhead said, in a press release, that the celebration reached a peak last Thursday when employees assembled in the auditorium at the Administration Building to witness the drawing of the names for several prizes, including two 2006 pickup trucks, a round trip airfare to anywhere in the continental U.S. or Canada, and gift cards to be used at local stores. Approximately 1,250 employees – every employee who had no injury in 2005 – were eligible to win.
During the assembly, Larry Kupfer, president, told the audience the prizes were only intended to celebrate the company's success. He told the employees that the greatest reward they give themselves is the opportunity to return home to their loved ones at the end of each workday in the same way they reported to work – safe and sound.
Jack Branch, of the Process Safety Management Team, was also awarded the President's Award for Safety Excellence for the fourth quarter of last year for his contributions to improved safety in the refinery by his diligence in conducting safety surveys.
The press release from Hovensa gave the following statistics attributed to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
These figures are the average injury rate in the United States in 2004 for various businesses categories: automobile dealers 5.0; department stores 7.0; hardware stores 4.5; hotels 5.9; pharmacies 2.4 and refineries 1.5.
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