Observe, think and act

In order for all employees to go home from work every day without injuries, each individual must assume personal responsibility. Bitumen Matters visited the Special Products Plant (SPP) at the Nynas refinery in Eastham.

The Eastham refinery is located in the north-west of England and there is a special products plant here where Nynas produces polymer-modified bitumen and bitumen emulsions. Operations go on around the clock, and there is a constant focus on safety.

“There are a variety of hazards around the plant,” says James Reid, Nynas UK Operations Manager. “These include hot products and utilities, harmful chemicals, moving vehicles, work at height, noise, manual handling and rotating equipment.”

In order to avoid accidents, there are clear requirements that all employees must be aware of and adhere to.

“It is important to follow the Nynas principle of ‘Observe, think and act’ at all times as well as adhering to all applicable procedures and risk assessments, including wearing the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).”

Long-term focus on safety has produced good results. Since 2011 there have been substantial reductions in personal accidents (TRI).

One part of the safety process is to encourage the reporting of near misses. If these are reported, risk factors can be identified at an early stage and thus injuries can be avoided.

“Over recent years, the near miss reporting rate has risen substantially,” continues James Reid. “It is vital to report everything so the team can learn to do better in future.”

Work to achieve a safe workplace is an ongoing process, and it involves making sure that safety awareness is maintained at a constantly high level.

“The SPP team is focused on continuous improvement and further developing a risk-based thinking culture. This will be achieved through sharing our learning and maintaining our daily discussions about safety in production meetings, continued focus on near miss reporting and reviewing our procedures in practice,” concludes James Reid.

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