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INVISTA’s manufacturing facility in Paulínia, which produces LYCRA, LYCRA XA and ELASPAN fibers in the southeast region of Sao Paulo, Brazil, is celebrating 35 years – more than 23 million work-hours – without a lost-time injury.
This unique accomplishment will be celebrated with events involving site employees, senior INVISTA leaders and community officials. Employees also will celebrate the site’s certification as the first-ever INVISTA STAR Site, the highest internal level of safety achievement an INVISTA manufacturing plant can achieve. The INVISTA STAR program is modeled after the U.S. Occupational Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program.
"For us, safety comes first. It’s the best investment we can make, to ensure the health and safety of our employees and the communities in which we operate,” said Nicésio R. Cascone, INVISTA vice president of operations for South America and Mexico. “This milestone was achieved through the extensive efforts, commitment and discipline of Paulínia’s employees. They should be very proud of this accomplishment.”
Through its strong commitment to compliance and safety, INVISTA continuously strives to improve environmental, health and safety performance. The company believes excellence in these areas is required for long-term success. At the Paulínia site, efforts have been made to implement safeguards, maintain safety and environmental protection equipment, enhance operating procedures, train workers, and perform inspections and audits.
In addition to operating for 35 years without an injury causing time away from work for any employee, the Paulínia site has demonstrated operations excellence in other ways, including earning INVISTA Perfect Year recognition in 2008 (for operating without accidents or environmental incidents during that year), retaining ISO 14000 certification since 1998, and recycling 94 percent of total solid waste generated at the site.
The site has motivational initiatives, such as “OPA! Observe – Stop – Act” and a Best Practice Safety Card of the Month program, to help achieve its safety goals. In addition, the facility has organized weekly safety meetings with on-site contractors to reinforce best practices and expectations for safe operations.
These and other practices led to the INVISTA STAR Site designation and further demonstrate the site’s commitment to sustainable safety programs that protect both workers and the environment.
"This has been a 35-year, tireless quest for excellence and awareness. This is possible: every accident is preventable. The key to a safe workplace is the active involvement and participation of all our employees to understand and evaluate risks, making use of existing programs and procedures every day, every hour and every minute,” said INVISTA Paulínia site manager José Antonio Tortorella.
According to Mario Cuin,Jr., Paulínia site environmental, health and safety manager, "To achieve safety excellence, a site must continuously and tirelessly build a culture of safety at all levels. The organization must be disciplined and use the application of tools and operational systems to recognize and mitigate risks. All of this happens through a commitment to continuous improvement and making sure that employees have access to safe-work practices, analysis of safety tasks and safety processes and procedures.”
At all of INVISTA’s facilities, including the Paulínia site, keeping workers safe and protecting the environment requires hard work and involvement by both leaders and employees. All employees share responsibility for identifying possible risks in all processes and areas and focusing on health, safety and environmental protection.
Every INVISTA employee is encouraged to raise concerns and drive improvements, and if a risk is identified, internal teams begin immediately to understand the root of a potential concern and devise solutions that will protect worker safety, said Cuin.
INVISTA operates another facility at Americana-SP, 36 km from Paulínia, where SUPPLEX fabric and TACTEL fiber are produced for apparel applications.
INVISTA is one of the world’s largest integrated producers of polymers and fibers, primarily for nylon, spandex and polyester applications. With a business presence in over 20 countries, INVISTA’s global businesses deliver exceptional value for their customers through technology innovations, market insights and a powerful portfolio of global trademarks including: ADI-PURE, ANTRON, AVORA, C12, COMFOREL, COOLMAX, CORDURA, CORFREE, DACRON, DBE, DYTEK, FRESHFX, LYCRA, PERFORMA, POLARGUARD, POLYSHIELD, POLYCLEAR, SOLARMAX, STAINMASTER, SUPPLEX, SUPRIVA, TACTEL, TACTESSE, TERATE, TERATHANE and THERMOLITE.