The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) association awarded the Merit Safety Award to four Safway Group refinery crews during the National Occupational and Process Safety Conference, held from 14-15 May.

The AFPM association awards programme was developed by the trade association’s health and safety committee to promote safe work practices in the refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries, and among the contractors supporting them.

The four Safway Group refinery crews that received the award are:

  • Valero Benicia Refinery, Benicia, California, US, which worked 50,581 hours with zero recordables
  • Phillips 66 Alliance Refinery, Belle Chase, LA, US, which worked 158,899 hours with zero recordables
  • Tesoro Refinery, Bellingham, Washington, US, which worked 105,000 hours with zero recordables
  • BP Cherry Point Refinery, Blaine, Washington, US, which worked 160,000 hours with zero recordables

In order to receive this safety award, crews had to accomplish an employee total recordable incident rate of 0.6 or less at their worksite for the entire calendar year 2013. In addition, there could be no process safety event (PSE) that resulted in days away from work, a restricted / transferred crew member, fatality of a third-party or officially declared community evacuation or shelter-in-place.

West division president Gary Duncan said: "We are really proud of this accomplishment. Over the past year Safway has reduced its recordable injuries in US refineries by more than 70%. These awards recognise our outstanding refinery crews and their dedication to safety."

Valero Benicia Refinery project manager Jeff McDermott said: "All accidents are preventable. By emphasising the importance of the jobsite hazard analysis as the first and most important tool, we have raised a heightened focus on hazard prevention.

"We also host frequent in-house audits and provide constant feedback to our workforce. This ensures the established safety process remains functioning at a high level. Employee involvement and commitment to this process are crucial to our safety success. As a result of our safety and communication efforts, we have empowered our crews to provide a safe work environment for themselves, and those that work around them.

"Making safety the number one priority, working together as a team, and instilling good communication has helped these four refinery crews accomplish their goal of working through the year with no recordable incidents, earning them these awards."