Corteva Agriscience Nets Excellence Award For Industrial Safety

Jan. 11, 2019
Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, wins a 2018 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Award from Rockwell Automation.

Corteva Agriscience, the agriculture division of DowDuPont, wins a 2018 Manufacturing Safety Excellence Award for its best-in-class approach to industrial safety. The award from Rockwell Automation honors industrial companies that make safety a core business value and realize the widespread benefits of holistic safety. 

Corteva Agriscience is in the process of rolling out a transformative safety initiative that aims to reduce safety risks and improve productivity across its global operations, according to Rockwell Automation. The initiative is currently being piloted in a small number of plants and will eventually be expanded to the company’s more than 70 seed production sites worldwide. 

“Corteva Agriscience exemplifies how companies can use a holistic, risk-based safety approach to drive operational excellence,” says Lee Lane, vice president/general manager safety, sensing & connectivity business, Rockwell Automation. “The company is taking a leadership role on safety in its industry by addressing the three pillars of a comprehensive safety program: culture, compliance and technology.”

From a culture standpoint, Corteva Agriscience generates support and momentum for its safety initiative by getting buy-in from executive leadership, including the CEO. The company also puts a focus on cross-team collaboration. For example, engineering, production and safety teams work together on machine-safety projects, and employee engagement helps support project rollouts at pilot sites.

“Employee engagement is a key reason our initiative has been successful in our pilot plants,” says Dan Thompson, safety, health and environmental manager, Corteva Agriscience. “We sat down with everyone from plant and safety managers to production operators. The meetings help them see they have a role to play and help build excitement for what we’re doing. We’ve seen operator attitudes shift mid-meeting from skepticism to enthusiasm because they have a say in potential changes.”

Corteva Agriscience’s compliance efforts include working with its OEM vendors to make sure machine-safety risk assessments are performed during the design phase. Also, as the company implements its safety initiative and sees results, it will incorporate key learnings into its corporate safety standards to drive improvement throughout the organization. 

On the technology front, Corteva Agriscience is making investments in systems that can enhance worker safety and plant productivity. One example is a request-to-enter system that the company is implementing on its husker and bagging machines. The system allows workers to bring the machines to a stop with the push of a button so they can perform certain minor servicing tasks. In the past, workers had to use lengthy lockout/tagout (LOTO) procedures for such tasks.

“When LOTO was continuously applied for minor services on our husker machines, the VFDs would fault and had to be reset,” says Gabriel Rivera, machine safety technology guardian, Corteva Agriscience. “It was time consuming and we were compromising OEE. The request-to-enter system is helping us enhance safety and improve productivity. Now, operators can do minor servicing tasks in just a few minutes.”

Corteva Agriscience joins a distinguished list of manufacturers and OEMs that have won the Manufacturing Safety Excellence Award. Past winners include A.M.P Rose, Bevcorp, The Clorox Company, Corning Environmental Technologies, Dana Incorporated, General Motors, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Honda of Canada, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, MESNAC, OCME, Paper Converting Machine Company, PepsiCo divisions of Walkers Crisps and Pepsi Flavors and Procter & Gamble.

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