Southern Ionics Inc
United States of America
Southern Ionics Incorporated (SII) is an innovator and leading manufacturer of specialty and intermediate inorganic chemical products. Founded in 1980 and built on the four cornerstones
of service, quality, technology, and delivery - every SII facility is QMS ISO9001:2015 registered and offers chemical products that meet NSF/ANSI 60 standards.
SII is a family-owned and operated chemical manufacturing company with thirteen facilities across the Eastern and Southeastern United States. Its products are used in diverse applications that touch everyday life, including refinery catalysts to produce clean fuels, absorbents to produce industrial and medical gases, removal of water contaminants, production of paint pigments, and the removal of greenhouse gases from industrial emissions.
John Craig, Manager of Environmental, Safety, Health, and Quality at Southern Ionics for over 16 years, chose the SafetyAmp platform to consolidate multiple, separate point solutions and standardize common company-wide workflows.
"SafetyAmp allowed us to fully consolidate each point solution we had in place. That's exactly what I was looking for." says John.
John also discussed other challenges and roadmap items he had for his safety program. He wanted to increase the frequency and accuracy of near miss and quality reports from the frontline. SII needed to reduce the amount of time spent on auditing, follow-ups, reminders, training instruction, and administration while improving efficacy.
"SafetyAmp allowed us to fully consolidate each point solution we had in place. That's exactly what I was looking for."
The first priority for SII during implementation was to digitize their audit and inspection forms for every plant. These were previously done on paper and required a lot of administrative time to prepare findings, recommendations, and attach photo documentation of issues. Corrective actions had to be created in a spreadsheet then e-mailed to each responsible party. EHS would have to follow-up on a regular basis with each plant to ensure timely completion of high priority items. John explained it can eat up an afternoon just sending reminders to plant staff.
John configured graded plant inspections in SafetyAmp using its drag and drop audit interface. This enabled SII to audit their locations on an iPad, capture photos and action items, immediately share the results, and delegate tasks to staff. The automation engine in SafetyAmp was used to automatically send audit results and corrective actions, including a PDF copy to the appropriate personnel via e-mail.
"We have seen major time savings across all staff activities relating to safety and quality recordkeeping due to the automation capabilities of SafetyAmp," says John.
After the audits implementation, SII was able to stay up-to-date on completed corrective actions and easily report on overdue actions across teams and sites. The audit data is also now available in SafetyAmp Analytics, granting one-click access to failure trends for each audit item.
SII also setup inspections for equipment and machinery, utilizing QR codes that team members can scan with their devices to begin an inspection for that asset, tagging it automatically.
Southern Ionics focused on their recordkeeping activities next, starting with proactive near miss reporting, followed by quality reports, and then reactive reporting for injuries and illnesses.
John's biggest complaint with safety systems he has used in the past was that they are difficult or impossible to customize to his existing processes. That's not the case with SafetyAmp Apps, which enabled SII to translate their existing workflows into online applications that were immediately familiar to the workforce.
SII reported their time-to-close on these processes has improved almost 300% due to the automation capabilities of SafetyAmp.
"Its made all of our safety and quality processes smoother. We're getting 3x more near miss and quality reports from our frontline," explains John. "There was a small learning curve but now we are getting triple the number of near miss reports. This has allowed us to capture things that might have otherwise not been sent in due to our prior lengthy paper process. We've been able to incentivize proactive behavior and eliminate fear of reporting and lingering blame culture, powering KPI's we were previously unable to monitor easily."
"Its made all of our safety and quality processes smoother. We're getting 3x more near miss and quality reports from our frontline."
After the successful implementation and rollout of SafetyAmp across its site portfolio, SII then focused on improvements to their training program. Utilizing the SafetyAmp Learning Management System and its content library, Southern Ionics was able to move many of its training processes to an online learning environment.
"Many of our plants have been able to eliminate costly third-party instruction on several topics. We can make changes and add content to these online classes at any time. The training message going out to our employees is now our message. We've been very happy with the quality of the courses and the ability to use our existing SCORM content."
Asked about the results of our partnership, John mentions "Overall, the SafetyAmp platform has enabled our company to evolve into a mature, results-driven EHSQ program and create an ecosystem that both incentivizes reporting and facilitates impactful decision making."
“Overall, the SafetyAmp platform has enabled our company to evolve into a mature, results-driven EHSQ program and create an ecosystem that both incentivizes reporting and facilitates impactful decision making.”