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Top honor: Sweeny wins prestigious safety award

For a sixth straight year, a Phillips 66 refinery is best in class in safety.

The Sweeny Refinery in Texas captured its first Distinguished Safety Award from the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers for outstanding safety performance in 2021, and the Bayway and Billings refineries also earned safety honors.

“Congratulations to the Sweeny Refinery for capturing the top, best-in-class safety award, and to Bayway and Billings for also receiving safety honors,” said Michael Wirkowski, Phillips 66 Interim Vice President of Health, Safety, Environment and Projects. “This continued industry recognition of Phillips 66’s focus on safety year after year shows our safety culture and hard work go above and beyond to help keep our employees, contractors and communities safe.”

Sweeny, which is located about 60 miles southwest of Houston, is one of four facilities to capture AFPM’s top safety award for the year. The Distinguished Safety Award is presented to eligible U.S.-based sites that demonstrate exemplary, long-term safety performance, program innovation and leadership.

“Sweeny has worked toward this award for many years,” Sweeny Refinery HSE Manager Ben Way said. “AFPM’s recognition of our workforce as we celebrate 75 years of operations is a true testament to the people here who have developed a strong safety culture over the course of our refinery’s history.”

The Billings Refinery in Montana notched an Elite Gold Safety Award, AFPM’s second-highest safety honor presented to facilities with safety performances in the top 5 percentile. The Bayway Refinery in New Jersey earned an Elite Silver Award, presented to facilities in the top 10 percentile in safety performance.

Chevron Phillips Chemical, the joint venture between Phillips 66 and Chevron, picked up one Elite Gold and one Silver Elite award for its sites in Borger and Conroe, Texas, respectively.

AFPM is a leading trade association for U.S. refiners and chemical manufacturers. Nearly 300 AFPM-member facilities were eligible to apply for the 2021 awards. The awards are part of a program developed by the AFPM Safety and Health Committee to promote safe operations in the refining and petrochemical industries. 

“The U.S. refining and petrochemical industries continued to deliver on their commitment to the health and safety of our workforce, our communities, and the environment last year,” AFPM President and CEO Chet Thompson said.

Past Distinguished Safety Award winners from Phillips 66 include Bayway (2019, 2017), Billings (2008), Borger (2019), Ferndale (2019), Lake Charles Manufacturing Complex (2020, 2019, 2016), Ponca City (2020, 2018) and the San Francisco Refinery’s Santa Maria Plant (2020, 2019, 2011).