20% decrease in employee injury frequency

7,368 hours spent in leadership development

91% participation rate in employee survey

77 team members travelled globally for special assignments
 

Health & Safety

  • In spite of our goals and efforts to prevent injury, injury rates rose.

  • Workers

    Increasing safety management during our largest maintenance turnaround on record

    When our Motunui plant underwent a major maintenance turnaround to improve process safety and plant reliability, it went on record as the largest-ever turnaround at Methanex.

    Before the turnaround started, we took extensive measures to share our safety culture with the contractor community. In meetings with principals and supervisors from the contractor companies, we focused on implementing a united approach to managing hazards. During induction sessions and daily check-ins, we delivered messages about the priority for safety.

    Workers

    Workers were also invited to display on their hard hats their top four reasons for going home safely, a concept adopted from our Switch On to Responsible Care safety culture program. (Read more about this program in the Workplace chapter.)

    Unfortunately, the Motunui turnaround team faced several challenges, including adverse weather conditions and a lengthy extension due to work emerging from inspections. These circumstances impacted incident and injury rates, which did not meet targets.

    The injuries that occurred remind us that our work to build and share a culture of safety must be ongoing. We will continue to seek effective ways to inspire and enable workers within our organization, and those joining us on contract, to work toward the goal of zero injuries.

    Workplace
  • Office-related injuries increased our awareness of ergonomic hazards in office environments.

    An office environment may seem like a safe place to work, especially compared to work involving equipment and hazardous products. However, in 2018, office injuries that resulted in time off work and medical interventions reminded us of the hazards present in office settings. The injuries, which included ligament strains and an ankle fracture, were related to work at computers.

    Ergonomics in office environment

    A worker’s personal and work life can be significantly affected by injuries occurring in an office setting. Like hazards in any work setting, hazards for office workers require awareness and action to identify and prevent. Furthermore, potentially harmful circumstances in office environments can often remain hidden from view, including repetitive tasks such as using a computer mouse.

    To increase awareness and prevention of office hazards in both corporate and manufacturing settings, we have ergonomic programs to prevent musculoskeletal injuries, as well as a MoveSafe initiative to promote frequent and safe movement. We also share with office workers hazard-assessment and mitigation practices related to their work setting.

    Our safety message to all team members is the same, regardless of their work setting. Awareness of hazards to health and safety crosses all roles and types of work.

    Personal responsibility and initiative from leadership, team members, and contractors are critical in taking timely action to keep everyone safe.

     

  • We hosted a workshop, Enabling Egypt’s Process Safety Journey, the first of its kind in the region.

    In 2018, we hosted Egypt’s first-ever workshop on process-safety management (PSM) in order to share safety standards and practices with this region. Process-safety management is about managing the hazards in the physical infrastructure of our plants (i.e., the toxic, flammable, and explosive potential of the materials we use and the high pressures used to maintain our manufacturing process).

    The event was attended by over 300 people, including top leaders and representatives from Egypt’s oil, gas, and petrochemical industries. Entitled “Enabling Egypt’s Process Safety Journey,” the workshop was a collaboration with the Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM), our joint venture partner in Egypt and a subsidiary of the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum. Keynote presentations addressed the fundamentals of process safety and the role of leadership in PSM. In break-out sessions, participants developed action plans on topics ranging from university curricula to leadership engagement.

    Mohamed Shindy
    Jason Clement

    Mohamed Shindy (left), Managing Director, Egypt, and Jason Clement, Director of Process Safety Management, speak to participants at the workshop in Egypt.

    To build on the event’s momentum, we have committed to supporting and organizing an annual PSM conference in the region. Methanex will also support a monthly PSM forum and advise ECHEM and the Ministry of Petroleum on ways to define their own PSM roadmap.

  • A new executive steering committee for process safety

    In 2018, to further our efforts in process safety, we created a new Executive Process Safety Steering Committee. This committee will create a direct line of sight for senior leadership to key process-safety risks and mitigating measures at our plants.

    Greg Sargent, process safety engineer at our Medicine Hat site, recognizes the value of the steering committee: “The EPSSC is a conduit to senior leadership for the PSM professionals at the site level. This enables us to better help leadership to understand, prioritize, and address the critical issues at our sites.”

    Other process-safety initiatives advanced in 2018 included the voluntary adoption of “safety case,” a rigorous, evidence-based approach to evaluating the adequacy of risk reduction measures at our manufacturing facilities. We also developed process-safety hazard pamphlets to guide internal operations in raising awareness of what can potentially go wrong and measures to protect against these scenarios.

    Key Takeaway for Process Safety

    Extract from Process Safety Management: A Handbook for Methanex Senior Leaders

  • Every Methanex facility around the world engaged in health promotion efforts.

    Methanex undertakes global health-management initiatives to provide employees at all our locations with health programs that meet the highest standards. In 2018, our Global Health Network launched the Global Health Standard to direct Methanex’s global health programs, and each region participated in a variety of health promotion efforts.

    • Medicine Hat health promotion

      Medicine Hat published a comprehensive health promotion brochure to share about the company’s health promotion practices with employees. The program includes annual influenza vaccinations for workers and their families, shingles vaccinations, health surveillance, and onsite massage therapy.

    • Dr. Medhat Elbarogy (Egypt)

      In Egypt, Dr. Medhat Elbarogy (pictured left) conducted an employee session to raise awareness about shift work fatigue and other health impacts. The session provided information about circadian rhythms—natural cycles of energy and drowsiness—as well as tips on managing shift work fatigue.

    • Geismar Wellness

      The Methanex Geismar site was awarded the “Geismar Wellness” Program award by a community wellness association.

    • Mental Health Week participants Vancouver

      In Vancouver, a Mental Health Week Committee was formed to raise awareness that “Mental Health Is Everyone's Business.” The 15-person committee conducted a local survey to highlight national statistics and their relevance to staff. 

    • A Medicom (medical portable building) in New Zealand

      In New Zealand, in conjunction with the record number of turnarounds occurring in one year, a mobile medical portacom (portable building) was launched to support employee and contractor health. The medical portacom was relocated as needed during the turnarounds.

    • Club Deportivo Chile

      To promote employee health at out Punta Arenas, Chile plant, staff participated in three talks about nutrition and exercise. Through an internal Sports and Cultural Club, “Club Deportivo,” physical activities (e.g., the National Geographic run, pictured) were promoted to both employees and their families.