Living a Zero Harm Culture

Zero Harm begins with protecting our people and processes, and extending to the communities near our facilities, and to the larger environment. Our internal focus means providing employees with the tools, training, incentives, and authority to identify and promote proper safety practices, while also correcting unsafe practices. A significant long-term investment of more than $4 million over a four-year period has been made to provide additional resources for process improvement and behavioral safety training for our employees around the globe.

Key company leaders and plant managers worldwide gathered at a Zero Harm Forum in Pittsburgh in 2016, with the goal of ensuring that we are aligned in our commitment to Zero Harm. An initial rollout of company-wide training among all employees at every facility followed, geared toward converting our vision into measurable, sustainable actions. This process will continue into 2017 and beyond, as Zero Harm becomes ingrained in the way we do business.

Members of the Koppers Board of Directors’ Safety, Health & Environmental Committee, along with members of the company’s senior leadership team, visited our Millington, Tennessee, and Roanoke, Virginia, locations to talk with managers and employees about how the Zero Harm message is being received and implemented on the front lines. Through these conversations, connections were strengthened and employees recognized the importance of the Zero Harm culture within our company.

At the Koppers Galesburg RUPS facility, Zero Harm has taken root in the minds and methods of employees there, according to Plant Manager Jim Evans. “Employees have signed onto it,” he said. “They feel like they’re being listened to, and morale has gotten stronger. Zero Harm is about safety, sure, but it’s really about people, interaction, feedback, and acting on ideas.” One such idea, generated from an observation made by an employee, was to have material loaded onto a wheelbarrow, so that lifting and moving it would be safer and help avoid back strains.

Zero Harm goes beyond the numbers,” said Evans. “Just because you have no safety incidents doesn’t always mean you’re running a good plant. This is a culture change, and we’re celebrating the victories as they occur. We talk about Zero Harm every day.”

Travis Yeoman, manager of the Roanoke facility, added, “It’s still early in the process, but with Zero Harm, you can already feel a difference. You get a sense in the plant that we’re not changing because we have to; we’re changing because we want to.”

The impact of our Zero Harm culture on our employees, communities and the environment takes a number of forms and has generated some early results, many of which are described throughout this report.