Marathon Petroleum Refineries Earn AFPM’s Highest Safety Honors

Jun 11, 2024 12:35 PM ET
  • The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) has recognized the top facilities in the refining and petrochemical industries based on 2023 safety performance.
  • Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s refineries in Canton, Ohio; Robinson, Illinois; El Paso, Texas; and Kenai, Alaska, were among the award winners.
  • Canton and Robinson were two of only four facilities to receive AFPM’s highest safety honor.

The challenge of earning a safety award from the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) is evident from these numbers: just 35 of AFPM’s 255 member facilities even met the criteria to apply based on their 2023 performance. At AFPM’s recent awards ceremony, Marathon Petroleum Corporation’s (MPC) Canton, Ohio, and Robinson, Illinois, refineries were two of only four winners of the Distinguished Safety Award (DSA), AFPM’s highest safety honor. The company’s El Paso, Texas, refinery earned the Elite Platinum Award, and its Kenai, Alaska, refinery received the Elite Silver Award.

“The safety performance of our teams represents extraordinary focus on fundamentals,” said MPC Executive Vice President Refining Tim Aydt. “It’s inspiring to think about the consistency of their daily execution and the type of commitment required to earn these high honors.”

AFPM’s awards recognized outstanding occupational and process safety throughout 2023. Among other award criteria, eligible facilities could not have a single recordable injury involving a life-critical task – an activity with the potential to cause serious harm to individuals, severe equipment damage or a negative environmental impact.

“If you meet the screening criteria, you get 30 days to complete a comprehensive written application to tell your story about what sets your site apart,” said MPC Refining Personal Safety and Security Director Fritz Kin. “From these applications, nine sites were selected to be considered for the DSA this year, which involved going through face-to-face interviews with a committee of industry safety experts.”

Along with Canton and Robinson, the El Paso refinery was among the nine DSA finalists. This qualified El Paso to receive one of only five Elite Platinum Awards after the final DSA selections were made. The Kenai refinery’s Elite Silver recognition means its safety performance ranked in the top 10% of the industry. The success of Canton and Robinson marked the first time ever that two MPC refineries earned the DSA in the same year.

In their applications, the four refineries credited several MPC safety initiatives for enhancing their performance:

  • My Name is On It – a leadership development and mentoring program
  • Start Safe, Stay Safe – focuses on starting jobs safely using the Safe Work Permit, job safety analyses, joint jobsite visits and then stopping work if scope or conditions change
  • Human and Organizational Performance – a safety culture shift that views employees as problem solvers and partners in improving safety and learning how work gets done in the field

“The excellent performance of these four refineries carried over to their applications and interviews where they really separated themselves from peers,” Kin said. “To stand out as shining stars when the bar was so high shows just how special they were.”