The anniversary event also marked a major safety milestone, as OCI has achieved one million man hours without a lost-time accident.
OCI Chemical has not had an occupational injury or illness that resulted in time away from work since its groundbreaking on Jan. 16, 2001. To mark both the anniversary and the safety milestone, the company hosted state government leaders, company leaders, and employees for a town hall meeting that recognized the company’s economic and community impact, along with safety achievements and best practices.
In addition to Governor Bentley, City of Decatur Mayor Don Stanford, Cindy Coe, and Roberto Sanchez from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Greg Baik, president and CEO of Seoul, South Korea-based OCI Company Ltd., were in attendance.
“Safety is our number one job at OCI,” said Kirk Milling, president and CEO of OCI Enterprises and OCI Chemical. “Our Decatur plant has a stellar safety record with five years of safety leadership and four years of industry leader awards from the National Safety Council. Our many awards are due primarily to our culture of safety and the training, processes and personal accountability shared by every employee from day one on the job. This is what’s established us not only as safety leaders but as business leaders as well.”
OCI Chemical modeled its approach to safety after its sister facility, OCI Wyoming in Green River. To ensure the highest production and safety standards were implemented and maintained from the plant’s beginnings, company leaders worked with the state of Alabama to source trained workers through the Alabama Industrial Development Training program. Delivered through Calhoun Community College, the program not only provided training to new employees, but also identified and screened potential workers for hire.
Today the plant employs 40 people and operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. With a capacity of 60,000 metric tons of sodium percarbonate, this facility is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
“We are proud to have an industry leader like OCI call Alabama home,” said Governor Bentley. “OCI is an economic engine for the Decatur area, but OCI employees also invest back into this community. For example, as a partner in Decatur’s chemical collections program, OCI is helping to collect hundreds of used batteries, motor oil, paint, gasoline, and chemical containers for environmentally safe disposal. OCI is a not only a great business partner but a community one as well.”
OCI Chemical is one of the world’s largest producers of natural soda ash and also produces sodium percarbonate and hydrogen peroxide. The company operates facilities in Decatur, AL, and Green River, WY, and has a joint ownership of a third facility in Columbus, MS. OCI Chemical, along with OCI Energy, is part of Atlanta-based OCI Enterprises, a subsidiary of OCI Company Ltd., headquartered in Seoul, Korea. For more information, visit www.ocichemical.com.