As a full-service mechanical and general contractor company Amex Nooter has an exemplary record for safety and quality control among many in the Chicago area familiar with refinery construction and maintenance. It should then come as no surprise that BP Whiting Indiana Refinery and the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee (NMAPC) both chose to award Amex Nooter in 2014. Amex Nooter received these recognitions for superior safety controls and an incident-free project completed at the BP Whiting Indiana Refinery.
A long-standing industry leader in safety, Amex Nooter requires all new hires to complete an employee orientation program prior to starting any work that includes safe work practices, reporting obligations, and responsibilities expected from personnel. The Amex Nooter safety team ensures its program is woven into every phase of the business, from the initial bid process, to the pre-job planning, and finally to execution in the field.
From Past to Present Day
The BP Whiting plant was one part of the financial empire of oil tycoon John D Rockefeller, when it first began producing kerosene and other petroleum products in 1890. Situated on the southern shore of Lake Michigan, in the very heart of America’s bustling industrial Midwest, the refinery prospered for decades, along with nearby Chicago and other cities of the region.
While, the past couple of decades have seen rough economic times in northern Indiana, as some of the steel mills and factories were shut down, BP’s Whiting refinery continued making gasoline and other products.
Today, the refinery is thriving due to a recent multi-billion-dollar investment modernization project, which Amex Nooter was instrumental in supporting for the past three years. The project has made the plant the keystone of BP’s fuel strategy in the United States for years to come. In December 2013, the Whiting Refinery Modernization Project (WRMP) saw all refinery units successfully brought online to ensure that BP could accept and process Canadian crude.
During the course of 2013 while working on the Whiting Refinery project, Amex Nooter’s Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) was 0.0. This achievement enabled the Whiting Refinery Business Unit to deliver a TRIR of 0.30 for 2013, the lowest score that BP had ever recorded. Amex Nooter was an instrumental part in BP achieving an excellent contractor safety performance.
A Hardy Workforce
Winter conditions on the shores of Lake Michigan, while challenging at times, were not insurmountable for Amex Nooter employees, who are familiar with working outside in bitter winds and freezing temperatures.
“All Amex Nooter employees at the plant had to take two to three days of safety training before they worked at the BP Whiting Refinery,” explains Amex Nooter Director of Safety, Jim Stalley. “Regardless of the project, we made sure the required paperwork and scheduling were met but never at the expense of safety.”
Officially, the modernization project is over but due to past successes, Amex Nooter continues to support the BP Whiting Refinery with ongoing maintenance and construction support, and will be servicing other projects in years to come.
Hard Work and Success Bring Safety Accolades
In February 2014, Amex Nooter proudly accepted the BP Whiting safety award at the annual “Beyond Safety and Reliability Conference & Expo” for completing 475,000 man-hours with no safety incidents. The conference brought together safety and reliability professionals from around the Midwest for education seminars, trade show, networking, and more.
Noting the importance of the conference, Stalley added, “Beyond Safety and Reliability unites owners, contractors, and unions in a positive networking environment that promotes education and discussion on the latest in safety and reliability procedures and technology. It’s very enlightening. With more than 600 in attendance, our Amex Nooter team was excited and honored to accept this coveted safety recognition given to us by BP Whiting.”
Echoing the project’s overall safety success, David Limbaugh, the Health and Safety Team Leader for BP Whiting Contractors, Projects and Turnarounds Business Unit, said, “Working with such a safety conscience contractor like Amex Nooter was a pleasure. We look forward to future projects as we continue to expand and improve the plant’s crude oil processing capacity.”
More Safety Honors
On October 23, 2014, the National Maintenance Agreements Policy Committee (NMAPC) ZISA® program presented Amex Nooter with the ZERO Injury Safety Award (ZISA®) for 2013 at the ZISA® Gala, held at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.
Amex Nooter’s Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Harper commented, “This is quite an honor for us. The fact that NMAPC included Amex Nooter in its selection of the Zero Injury Safety Award shows that focus and hard work through the years is paying off. We are very proud of our employees for their role in this recognition.”
In the last few years Amex Nooter has added to their strong industrial piping expertise with other crafts like, boilermaker, iron workers, millwrights, operating engineers and more. These crafts add greatly to the list of services AMEX Nooter provides and have helped expand its business.