We protect our people through all-encompassing safety programs
Manufacturing, transporting and marketing the fuels and other petroleum products that millions of people rely on every day requires constant vigilance. The feedstocks we use, and the products we make from those feedstocks, can pose multiple hazards if handled improperly. After being in the petroleum business for 128 years, we have a very strong set of processes and procedures that enable us to conduct our important work safely. But our vision is to have zero injuries, so we are constantly looking for ways to improve.
From a cultural standpoint, health and safety permeates every facet of our operations. Whether it’s at one of our refineries, pipeline facilities or fuels terminals; on one of our marine vessels or transport trucks; or in a control room or office building, we emphasize safety first and foremost.
To be clear, there is no business objective that supersedes the safety of our employees and contractors.
Toward achieving our vision of zero injuries, we implement behavior-based safety programs throughout our operations. Safety 1 is one such program, implemented companywide. In the past, our employees took personal responsibility for themselves, but were sometimes reluctant to correct each other if they saw potentially unsafe behaviors. Safety 1 addresses this by providing specific guidance on peer-to-peer communications – not just how to communicate safety advice to a co-worker, but how to receive such advice. “Permission and Pledge” is a central component of Safety 1 – employees give others permission to correct them if they ever see them working unsafely, and pledge to do the same for others if need be.
In 2014, MPC’s Texas City, Texas, refinery joined its sister refineries in Robinson, Ill.; Detroit, Mich.; and Canton, Ohio, in being accredited by the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, using well-defined standards of evidence-based practice. Since 2003, the four refineries have been accredited or reaccredited 25 times. The accreditation process involves an extensive application and an on-site visit, during which auditors review the program, verify data, and interview employees and management. Receiving accreditation places the behavior-based safety programs at these MPC facilities among the top 1 percent of all behavior-based safety programs practiced throughout the world.
MPC also participates in the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Program (VPP). The VPP requires a rigorous application and inspection process, resulting in three levels of designation: Demonstration, Merit and Star Status. The highest level of designation is Star Status, which eight MPC facilities have earned. Five MPC facilities have submitted their applications and are awaiting a VPP audit or are actively working toward VPP Star Site designation, and five more MPC sites plan to submit VPP applications to OSHA this year.
“MPC’s vision of zero injuries is ambitious, which is why for years we have gone above and beyond minimum safety requirements,” says Keith Robson, MPC’s corporate manager of Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness. “We work every day to identify ways of achieving that vision.”