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Environment, Health and Safety: AmSty’s Values in Action

AmSty-Tim-Watson-Blog-Post

AmSty has an impressive record that exemplifies its dedication to safety and the environment.

As highlighted in the 2023 AmSty sustainability report, "Driving Sustainable Change," the company's safety record, measured by the Recordable Incident Rate (RIR), is in the top quartile of chemical companies in the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Also, since its formation as a company, AmSty has consistently achieved top quartile environmental, health and safety performance within the industry.

In 2022, AmSty was designated as aResponsible Care® company. It's a certification by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) recognizing industry leaders dedicated to ensuring that the business of chemistry is safe, secure and sustainable.

"Being named a Responsible Care company is truly a testament to our employees' commitment to the highest standards in health and safety," said Tim Watson, vice president of Environmental, Health & Safety (EH&S) at AmSty. "At the heart of AmSty's core values are safety, employee focus, environmental responsibility and sustainability, and this certification demonstrates that our leaders truly embrace these values."

Tim wouldn't work at AmSty if they didn't.

"I'm proud to work for a company that puts its values into action," he said.

One example is when AmSty shut down its St. James facility at an inopportune time and at great cost to address an environmental concern. It cost AmSty millions, but "it was the right thing to do," said Tim. AmSty continues to proactively and make significant investment in new infrastructure that improves both operational and employee safety and environmental performance.

"You can't bank safety, you have to invest in it, earn it and abide by our safety protocols and federal regulations every minute of the day," he said.

The reality is, working with chemicals can be a dangerous business without proper training and appropriate safeguards. It's an environment where materials are combined, requiring high temperatures and pressures in very complex systems to create other materials or products. Facilities must be accurately designed and operated with discipline by trained staff.

Rigorous internal protocols, regulatory oversight, corporate investment and decades of experience have resulted in an industry that statistically is much safer than you might think.

In fact, Responsible Care® companies have a worker safety rate that's nearly five times better than the U.S. manufacturing sector as a whole, and almost three times better than the business of chemistry overall.

Tim points to the record at AmSty's eight sites. A number of them have many years in succession without injury. For example, AmSty's Marietta plant has just completed eight years safely. Others have had other impressive years-long milestones as well. The commercial driving team has had no AmSty-caused events in its 2.5 million miles on the road.

Currently, AmSty is celebrating over three years without a process safety event. It also had a two-year period with zero recordable injuries.

"To put that in context, that's three-million employee hours. Think of anything you do three million times, with 475 Amsty employees and contractors working each day in high hazard conditions – and doing so safely," he said.

In addition to an impressive internal safety record, Tim is proud of the success in managing longstanding partnerships with a wide number of contractors who assist during turnarounds – times where plants are intentionally shut down for inspections and maintenance.

"Sometimes this involves upwards of 500 to 700 people on site," said Tim. "We've had six turnarounds to date and all were completed safely."

While Tim works each day to make sure certain things get done, in the end, his job is more about making sure things don't happen.

"It's about focusing on what we're doing in the moment and the positive contributions our employees make each day," he said. "It's job one for all of us. There's nothing more important than ensuring our employees are safe at the end of the day.

It's a rewarding assignment, considering there are nearly 500 employees across the company, he said.

Each must play a part in doing things right, "but it's not always easy," said Tim. "I'm incredibly grateful for the continued commitment."

[Learn more about AmSty's commitment to environment, health and safety in "Driving Sustainable Change," the company's latest sustainability report.]

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