The Texas Chemical Council (TCC), one of the nation's first and largest statewide trade associations for the chemical manufacturing industry, has named Albemarle Corporation's Bayport manufacturing facility one of the "Best in Texas Safety" and awarded the plant its "Distinguished Service Award" for demonstrated commitment to safe operations and exemplary safety results during 2007.

Albemarle's Bayport plant, which manufactures catalysts and additives used in petroleum refining, was awarded "Best in Texas" for facilities with 201 to 500 employees.

The Best in Texas awards program is designed to promote continuous improvement in safety performance by TCC's approximately 90 member companies, which operate about 200 manufacturing plants throughout the state. To win the award, a facility must demonstrate safety leadership through implementation of programs supported by TCC.

In 2007, Albemarle implemented an employee safety program requiring each worker to perform at least two observations per month to reinforce safe actions and conditions. Known as SCAN (Survey, Consider, Act, Notify), the program has generated about 700 observations per month in a corporate database used to record and monitor safety activities and progress. The site also trained employees in using two levels of protection between themselves and potentially hazardous materials.

"Being named one of the 'Best in Texas' is a true honor," said Luke Kissam, Albemarle senior vice president of manufacturing and law. "It's a tribute to the hard work, powerful achievement and dedication to safety of our employees, and a concrete example that we are on the right path to be the best-performing specialty chemical company by all metrics and standards."

In order to qualify for TCC's "Distinguished Service" award, companies must show improvement in their occupational injury and illness incident rates for the award year when compared to the previous three-year average. Also, companies must have spotless records with regard to employee, contractor, or visitor fatalities in the workplace during the award year, and spotless records with regard to plant site chemical releases or fires during the award year resulting in known exposure to a member of the public.

The award also requires active community outreach efforts, such as involvement in emergency planning and preparedness programs and/or awareness programs and completion of and access to "Environmental and Safety Performance Reporting System" information.

The "Best in Texas" designation requires all the "Distinguished Service" criteria, as well as demonstrated performance and leadership in employee and contractor safety programs, industrial certifications, and participation in TCC activities and annual training seminars.

About 30 plants qualified for consideration in the "Best in Texas" awards, but only four-one in each of four size categories-were granted the honor.

"Our industry has one of the best safety records in all of manufacturing, and our employees strive for best-in-class performance," said Steve Miller, manager of Albemarle's "Bayport" plant, located in Pasadena, Texas. "So it's a real honor to be recognized by our peers in the industry and the state as 'the best.' This is a significant award that we are proud to win."

Albemarle Corporation, headquartered in Baton Rouge, La., is a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of highly engineered specialty chemicals for consumer electronics; petroleum and petrochemical processing; transportation and industrial products; pharmaceuticals; agricultural products; and construction and packaging materials. The company operates in three business segments - polymer additives, catalysts and fine chemicals - and serves customers in approximately 100 countries.