The International Carbon Black Association (ICBA) has awarded certificates of recognition to 12 Birla Carbon plants and an R&D centre for achieving above industry-average safety performance. While 11 plants and the Marietta R&D Laboratory received the gold award, one plant received the bronze award. The plants are spread across North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

A total of 44 global carbon black manufacturing facilities received this recognition as part of the ‘Safety Recognition Program’ from ICBA. This program is designed to generate interest in safety activities, enhance awareness, and to promote safety 24 hours a day at the plant level. The awards are given in three categories. The sites that meet more than one award criteria receive the highest recognition. Bronze awards are given to sites that have achieved zero lost work day (LWD) cases for their employees during the previous calendar year. A LWD case is a work-related injury or illness resulting in one or more lost work days for the employee following the day of the injury.

Silver awards are for sites that meet the requirements of the Bronze awards or demonstrate greater than 50 per cent improvement from the previous year, and achieved zero medical aid or OSHA (occupational safety and health administration) recordable incidents or greater than 50 per cent improvement from previous year, and reported zero fires or property-damage incidents with an impact greater than US$100K, and zero regulatory citations for safety-related events, audits or activities.

Gold awards are presented to sites that met the criteria for Silver awards and received an external safety or environmental management system certification recognition, such as ISO 45001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, OSHA VPP, or equivalent third-party management system certification recognition, or implemented a company-specific safety management system and had more than three years with zero LWD case at the facility.

The ICBA began the recognition programme to acknowledge the safety records maintained by carbon-black manufacturers and to educate policymakers and the public about the carbon-black industry’s efforts to make employee safety a precondition for successful operations. The programme identifies facilities that go above and beyond to protect the carbon-black industry’s workforce.

In a press release shared with CB, Joe Gaynor, chief legal, risk and sustainability officer, Birla Carbon, said, ‘At Birla Carbon, safety is a key component of everything we do. Our policies and processes are written and implemented keeping in mind the safety of our people, safe handling of carbon black, and safe management of the manufacturing facilities. I want to congratulate the Birla Carbon plants who have given so much emphasis on building a culture of safety within the organization.’