Integrating safety into all aspects of business
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) has an ambitious vision of no injuries, no incidents and no harm to the environment. For a manufacturing company that processes, transports and markets volatile substances, that means MPC must never be satisfied with the status quo of safety. The company is constantly on the lookout for better ways to protect its employees, contractors and communities. That’s where its interests align with those of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The federal agency’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) gives the company a structured way to avoid fatalities, injuries and illnesses.
The minimum requirement to be part of VPP is to maintain injury and illness rates below the Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for the industry. But MPC strives for much more.
“Our focus is to continue moving our facilities to VPP Star status,” says Keith Robson, MPC’s manager of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness. “Star status is difficult to achieve and requires a deep commitment by everyone involved. But this is the kind of focus on safety we want.”
To become a Star site under the VPP program, a facility has to apply to OSHA, and then undergo a rigorous, on-site evaluation by a team of safety and health professionals from OSHA and from other VPP sites. This evaluation team can consist of up to 20 people, depending on the size and complexity of the site, and the evaluation can take up to 10 days.
The evaluation team focuses on how engaged employees and management are in the site’s safety, whether hazards are being prevented and controlled, the type of training provided to employees and contractors, and much more. This in-depth evaluation must be repeated every three to five years for a location to remain certified as a VPP Star site.
Ten MPC facilities have earned VPP Star status, and five others are in various stages of working toward the designation. It’s a lot of effort for the sites involved, but Robson says it’s well worth it.
“VPP, and the many other safety programs and processes we use, are integrated into everything we do because safety is non-negotiable,” says Robson. “There is no business objective that supersedes our health and safety commitment.”
MPC’s certified VPP Star Sites:
- Marathon Pipe Line facility in Clermont, Indiana
- Terminal in Speedway, Indiana
- Terminal in Columbus, Ohio
- Marketing and Transportation Engineering office in Indianapolis, Indiana
- Texas City, Texas, refinery
- Detroit, Michigan, refinery
- Marathon Pipe Line-operated Capline facility in Patoka, Illinois
- Headquarters Office Complex in Findlay, Ohio
- Robinson, Illinois, refinery
- Garyville, Louisiana, refinery