Kraton is committed to continuously improving our safety performance. This includes learning from incidents and near misses, and implementing safeguards to prevent future incidents. This focus on safety resulted in our HSES performance ranking among the top percentile when compared with known industry benchmarks. Leading HSES indicators that we track include:
- Safety audits and near miss reports
- High Severity Potential (HSP) near misses
- Risk assessments
Kraton monitors and tracks every incident. We conduct in-depth reviews of all reportable incidents and a formal root cause analysis (RCA). Lean Six Sigma tools are used to support RCA methods and enhance the incident investigation process. We train RCA facilitators in these methodologies, share outcomes with our leadership team and conduct in-depth incident reviews. This ensures the appropriate level of exposure and ownership is given to the incident, and where necessary, provide resources to implement a corrective action plan. We then distribute a lessons learned safety review to remind employees of safety awareness opportunities.
We strive to conduct operations in a manner that protects the safety of our people and the environment. Risk analysis is key to preventing safety and environmental incidents. All sites perform hazard and operability studies regularly. Every day, our operators use Life Critical Procedures, permitting and risk assessment processes to check their work area, take care of coworkers, contractors and equipment, and alert production management of potential issues. Their assessments are the basis for risk mitigation and control.
Life Critical Procedures highlight effective hazard identification and control measures associated with activities, such as working at height and confined space entry. The standards are managed through onsite leadership and HSES teams. Regular management meetings and team audits are conducted to ensure employees focus on identifying potential risks in their work areas and correct them before they become an issue. Other prevention-focused global programs include:
- Kraton Safety Week. An annual initiative that reinforces the theme of Zero Harm to people, the community and the environment. All plants, offices and laboratories participate in this event covering all aspects of safety, from hand and finger safety to environmental responsibility.
- Critical Thinking and Line of Fire Concepts. Preemptive work audits and inspections that ensure safety risks are continuously identified as a task progresses, and employees feel comfortable stopping their work if they find themselves in the “line of fire.”
- Safety Leadership Development Program. Initiative focusing on safety, coaching and feedback methods. Offered through external experts, this onsite program helps managers, supervisors and employees execute on our core value of safety on a daily basis.
- Key Element Survey (KES) Process. An internal audit process that helps us identify incident trends and generate corrective actions.
As a global company, we provide employees with locally-mandated HSES trainings to meet our global HSES management system requirements. Trainings are delivered through online and classroom formats. Common training topics include emergency response drills, site security, behavioral-based safety, chemical management and control.
Product regulatory – or product stewardship – is focused on responsibly managing the health, safety and environmental aspects of raw materials and products throughout their lifecycle and across the value chain to prevent or minimize negative impacts. This includes ensuring the compliance and safety of our products and the communication of hazards and risks to stakeholders. Many of our products are used in sensitive applications, like food packaging and medical devices, so we continuously audit our facilities, toll manufacturers and warehouses for Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) to ensure our products’ acceptability.
Global regulations affecting products are constantly evolving, and we continuously monitor those changes, assess impact and take action to manage risks. We strive to anticipate future trends and policies that can directly impact our products and customers. Consumers’ increasing sustainability demand has resulted in initiatives from major retailers to ban or severely restrict the selling of products containing certain chemicals in their stores. As consumers have a more active participation in upstream supply chain decisions, retailers face pressure from end-users to minimize exposure to chemicals that are perceived as a health or safety issue to themselves and their families. These demands are opportunities for Kraton, given our innovation capabilities in meeting product needs for enhanced safety, purity and sustainability.