Our commitment to protecting the environment and our communities starts with operational safety. Eastman has extensive documented processes and procedures to prevent potential incidents from occurring and if they do occur, to reduce their impact.
To do so, we engage in risk management on a daily basis — from design and construction through start-up and operation, to maintenance and training. We measure performance, conduct audits, investigate accidents and improve conditions and behaviors. It’s an ongoing process that requires highly skilled people and continuous monitoring and testing of equipment and management systems. Assessing risks and finding ways to reduce them is our first responsibility to our employees and our communities.
We maintain our process safety programs based on the principle that our facilities are safe if they are designed according to sound engineering practices and built, operated and maintained properly. Our comprehensive process safety program includes the following layers of protection:
Management of change: A documented process utilized at each chemical handling site that is used to evaluate any potential hazards associated with process-related changes
Root cause analysis: A structured approach to incident investigation that allows us to extract lessons from incidents and prevent future incidents
Chemical safety testing: A laboratory analysis of chemicals before their use to identify any potentially hazardous properties
Engineering standards: Use of currently recognized and accepted good engineering practices in the design and construction of facilities and equipment, following both global and local standards
Management leadership and commitment: At every chemical handling site, there is a committee responsible for process safety whose mission is to help ensure the systematic evaluation and control of hazards associated with reactive, flammable and toxic materials at the site
Leading indicators: Data collected to ensure safety management systems are consistently updated so that they are effective. Eastman actively participates in industry peer organizations such as, but not limited to,
American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE),
Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS),
American Chemical Council (ACC),
European Engineering Equipment and Materials User's Association (EEMUA),
European Process Safety Centre (EPSC) and
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This connection maintains a high level of expertise within the organization to meet the company's process safety goals.
As an active member of the American Chemistry Council (ACC) for 25 years, Eastman contributed to the ACC’s recently completed review of Responsible Care, including the addition of new process safety codes. The codes, which are an extension of what Eastman is already doing, are designed to enable companies to better identify, prioritize and mitigate any hazards or vulnerabilities in their processes and better share information about such risks to promote and enable safe practices in all of their operations.
To further process safety throughout the organization, Eastman initiated expanded process safety training programs for employees beginning in 2011. The “baseline” process safety training for engineers and operations personnel was continued throughout 2013. The program helps to ensure universal understanding of process safety fundamentals. Additional training for operations and senior managers are being piloted and implemented throughout the company as well.
Safety Culture Assessments