Western International Gas & Cylinders, Inc. - Executive Summary

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RMP Executive Summary- Bellville Plant 
Western is committed to the personal, property, and environmental safety to all surrounding life and environment that could possibly be affected in any manner by the business conducted at this facility.    The owners of this facility live in the community.    
Western has a full-time Safety & Compliance Director that is OSHA certified and maintains an ongoing training program both outside of and within Western.  This enables Western to be on top of the most current regulations as they are issued.  Western has monthly safety meetings.  Western  has a SAFCOM committee which consists of at least one employee from every department.     
Western is very proactive in regards to safety.  The industrial gas industry itself has a safe record and has standards for which all are expected to meet.  Western not only goes by the industries standards but also spends the necessary funds to prove these standards are correct in Western facilities.  This year we ha 
ve done Air Quality & Noise exposure testing.  We have also done water quality testing.  In October of 1997 we invited OSHCON to inspect our facility.  We received a 99 out of a possible 100 on this inspection.   
Western has active membership in CGA-Compressed Gas Association, NWSA-National Welding Supply Association, NFPA- National Fire Protection Association and the local LEPC.  Many of our management serve on the teams of these different organizations. 
The accidental release prevention and emergency response policies at our facility: 
Western takes pride in doing it right the first time before an accident or incident would require any form of additional safety measures.  This facility has over 30 gas monitors throughout the production areas and 6 fire detectors.  The monitors are set at a level of gas detection that will alert us of any escaping gas long before it can get to the levels of being unsafe.  If any two alarms go off in any one area at the same time, it will completely  
shut down the plant (stopping any further generation from occurring).  Our system will also not allow an override.  In other words, any problem has to be fixed immediately or the system will not start back up.   
The Safety and Compliance Director is actively involved in the Austin County LEPC.  We have the Bellville Fire Department out to our facility as part of their training to give them a familiarization of our facility and the products we handle. 
Our policy is SAFETY FIRST.  The personal safety of each employee of this company is of primary importance. 
Our facility and the regulated substances handled: 
This facility is located on approximately 11 acres of land 6.5 miles from the town of Bellville, Texas and 8 miles from the town of Hempstead on Hwy 159E.  We own a connecting 60 acres to the back corner of the property and 13 acres across the street.  The other pastures to our sides and to the back of our facility are used for farm land and/or grazing. This Western facility is  
not in a highly populated area.   
Westerns primary business includes the manufacture of Acetylene Gas.  We have a dual generation system and transfer acetylene from chemical acetylene trailers into DOT regulated cylinders.  Acetylene is primarily used for welding applications across America.  It has no long term adverse health or environmental effects.  The process of manufacturing acetylene gas forms no hazardous wastes. 
The worst-case release scenario and the alternative release scenario: 
We used the RMP comp as guidance for both scenarios.  Both our worst case and alternative release scenario's endpoints are within one tenth of a mile of the plant. To put this into perspective, a 300 gallon propane tank which is in the back yard of many rural residences, will have an endpoint of about one tenth of a mile according to the same conservative calculations.  There is a house on Western property across the street that houses 2 people, (one of which is one of our managers).  This is the o 
nly offsite public receptor that could be affected.   
For both our worst case and alternative scenario's no administrative controls or passive mitigation measures limit the quantity released below the maximum capacity of the largest vessel or release rate of alternative case scenario. 
The general accidental release prevention program and chemical-specific prevention steps: 
There is a gas detection system within the facility consisting of more that 30 gas detectors and 6 fire detectors.  The entire acetylene process from start to finish is specifically covered under  Process Safety Management (PSM rule) in CFR 29, 1910.119 and is constructed and maintained under the regulations in NFPA51-A.  Our entire facility is also covered under the OSHA regulations.   
The five-year accident history: 
The accident history for our facility has never included an offsite release or offsite incident since its inception in 1985.  The owners' family has been in the industrial gas business since 1917 w 
ithout an accidental release accident.   
The emergency response program: 
Coordination of Emergency Response for this facility consists of Tours taken by the Bellville Fire Department and Local EMS system.  These tours and training received count as required hours the Fire Department members must have.  The Safety & Compliance Director is also an active member of the local Austin County LEPC.  Training in emergency response is received by all personnel.  Evacuation drills are conducted at least annually or whenever a change in process would occur.  Monthly safety meetings are held.  Alert systems within the facility consist of a horn, paging system, handheld radio.    
Planned changes to improve safety: 
It is the intentions of management and this company to continue to train and strive for excellence in the industrial gas business.  We believe that properly trained personnel are safe personnel and therefore have no intentions of settling for anything less.  Safety First will remain the 
policy for this company. 
Our policy is SAFETY FIRST.  The personal safety of each employee of this company is of primary importance. 
To the greatest degree possible, management will provide all mechanical and physical facilities required for personal safety. 
Our objective is the safety program reducing our exposure to accidents to the absolute minimum. 
Through a cooperative effort by all of us, we will attain our goal. 
We recognize the responsibilities for safety are shared: 
1.The employer accepts responsibility for leadership of the safety program, for its effectiveness, and safeguards providing a safe work place. 
2.Employees are responsible for wholehearted cooperation of the safety program, including compliance with all rules, and practicing safety while performing their duties.
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