Dow Chemical Wins Robert W. Campbell Award

SAN DIEGO -- Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co. is the 2010 winner of the National Safety Council's Robert W. Campbell Award, a prestigious honor recognizing organizations that achieve business excellence through safety, health, and environmental excellence.

Accepting the award Monday during the opening session of the 2010 National Safety Congress & Expo was Michael R. Gambrell, executive vice president for manufacturing and engineering operations, who thanked all 52,000 company employees for their commitment and contributions.

In a subsequent interview, Gambrell said the "golden thread" running through the company's global operations is its culture, which makes everyone responsible and accountable for safe performance in the drive for zero incidents.

In 1996, Dow set 10-year targets to achieve 90 percent reductions in injuries and illnesses per 200,000 work hours; leaks, breaks, and spills; transportation incidents; and process incidents.

Another goal was to reduce motor vehicle incidents by 50 percent in 10 years. Gambrell said they did not know how they would achieve the goals at the time they were set, but by 2005, Dow had reduced personal health and safety incidents by 84 percent, reduced solid waste by 1.6 billion pounds, reduced water use by 183 billion pounds, saved 900 trillion BTUs of energy, and lowered its employee and contractor injury/illness rate from about 2.25 to 0.6. Its current reportable rate is below 0.5 per 200,000 hours, he said.

Gambrell said Dow now wants to be a leader for its industry and other industries, helping them learn how to achieve comparable results by following Dow's example and practices. The award "is going to help people aspire to our systems," he said. "The Robert W. Campbell Award is the mechanism."

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