Ashland Reveals New Corporate Identity and Organizational Culture

Ashland took another step in its plan for the future, revealing its “Always Solving” corporate identity and unveiling the organizational culture that will continue to differentiate the company as it continues its mission.

“We’ve been on a journey since announcing plans to separate Valvoline and Ashland into two standalone companies,” says Bill Wulfsohn, Ashland chairman and chief executive officer. “Today, both companies are positioned for bright futures.”

Along with his leadership team, Wulfsohn developed a strategy which empowers each of Ashland’s chemical businesses to develop its own strategic approach as to where to compete and how to win in their marketplace. Each will employ its own core competencies in problem-solving that brings value to customers. Together as one global team, Ashland will build an organization focused on innovation, operations, and capital deployment. Its foundation will continue to be built on operations. Ashland will continue fostering growth through innovations and sales opportunities, and continue capturing value delivered to customers while driving cost competitiveness.

The most public facing element of the evolution of Ashland, is its new corporate identity – Always Solving – which reflects the company’s positioning and people across diverse industries as broad as pharmaceuticals to automotive, personal care to paints, adhesives to biofunctionals, and more.

“Now is the time for Ashland to communicate the nature of who we are and what sets our employees apart. We’re a company of solvers who develop solutions to complex problems in applied chemistry, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible, and advancing the competitiveness of our customers across industries,” states Carolmarie Brown, Ashland director global marketing and business communications.

The positioning illustrates how Ashland acts as a partner to its customers, providing solutions that bring value to its business partners. In particular, the company is focused on innovations for growing market positions in segments such as pharmaceuticals, personal care and paints and coatings.

Today and moving forward, Ashland embodies how its people are distinguished by their ability to apply specialized chemistry with a disciplined approach that increases the efficacy, refines the usability, adds to the allure, ensures the integrity, and improves the profitability of their customers’ products and applications. Each of these qualities are manifested in different ways for different industries, and together, its people around the globe are always solving, to improve customers’ products. “In Ashland we bring together different backgrounds, different disciplines, different points of view, and we operate as one team with a sense of purpose,” said Luis Fernandez-Moreno, senior vice president of Ashland and president of the Chemicals Group.

Along with its strategy and identity is the articulation and implementation of a collective Ashland Way, its corporate culture, which is “to respect, protect, and advance the people we work with, companies we serve, shareholders who invest in our future, communities we’re a part of, and the planet we share.”

The Ashland Way will drive business growth and shape an organization of which employees will want to be a part. Values of safety, integrity, partnership and passion will guide behavior each day.

“We have a common understanding of how we operate, think, manage, encourage and act in order to build an organization and improve the world through solutions based on the application of specialty ingredients and materials,” Wulfsohn says.

Ashland has a focus on operations and has been committed to doing business with integrity and respect for all people and the world. The company has made formal commitments to improve the environmental, health, safety and security performance for facilities, processes and products throughout the entire operating system. Forty-six Ashland sites have received Responsible Care certification, including three facilities earlier this year.

UL-listed Smoke Vent Skylights Minimize Warehouse’s Power Consumption

Trojan Battery, a manufacturer of deep-cycle batteries, occupies a 160,000-square-foot industrial facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., along with several other large industrial buildings in California. Each facility consumes a significant amount of electrical power each month. By adding 100 polycarbonate dome UL-listed smoke vent skylights, Trojan Battery will be able to save upwards of 40 percent on its power consumption for its warehouse in Santa Fe Springs.

By adding 100 polycarbonate dome UL-listed smoke vent skylights, Trojan Battery will be able to save upwards of 40 percent on its power consumption for its warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

By adding 100 polycarbonate dome UL-listed smoke vent skylights, Trojan Battery will be able to save upwards of 40 percent on its power consumption for its warehouse in Santa Fe Springs, Calif.

According to a representative of Santa Ana, Calif.-based IRC (Independent Roofing Consultants), a roofing consulting firm: “Typically, a 2 percent density of skylight units are utilized for effective energy reduction. Densities of 2.5 to 3 percent are being provided for newer buildings and being installed in conjunction with roof replacements to reduce energy costs associated with building lighting.”

The roof originally consisted of outdated skylights significantly reducing the benefits of natural lighting. New polycarbonate dome skylights and smoke vents from SKYCO Skylights allow owners to maximize the use of free daylighting. Additional benefits include 10 years against yellowing and breakage.

Aside from the energy benefits, Trojan Battery was able to reduce its safety liability. UL-listed smoke vents with polycarbonate domes not only provide ample daylighting, but they are life-saving devices. The smoke vent is designed with two thermal triggered hatches that automatically open up in the event of a fire.

Fire marshals and insurance companies recognize the benefits of a UL-listed smoke vent skylight because they allow the smoke, heat and hot gasses inside a burning warehouse to escape providing trapped workers a visible route for safe exit. They also reduce smoke damage to warehouse inventories. In many cases, insurance companies will provide a much needed break on rates when UL-listed smoke vents are added to the rooftop.

The smoke vent is designed with two thermal triggered hatches that automatically open up in the event of a fire.

The smoke vent is designed with two thermal triggered hatches that automatically open up in the event of a fire.

The reroof was performed by Highland Commercial Roofing, Baldwin Park, Calif. The commercial roofer specializes in and provided Trojan Battery headquarters with a RainShield seamless single-ply roofing system. The RainShield system, reinforced with a tough polyester mat, uses waterproofing-grade asphalts and highly reflective elastomeric acrylic surfacing to create a seamless, waterproof, highly reflective membrane providing a permanent, high-performance roofing system guaranteed not to leak for at least 20 years. The cool roof system chosen reflects more than 80 percent of the sun’s radiant heat, which can reduce a building’s cooling cost by as much as 50 percent.

With average temperatures and power costs rising, building owners and occupant are looking for new innovative ways to save money. Highland Commercial Roofing recommends a complete analysis of the skylights when owners consider reroofing their building. Replacing old, ineffective skylights at the time of reroof is the most cost effective method for the investment.

Suicide in the Roofing Industry

A recent study released by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted suicide rates in 2012 by occupational group. According to the study, workers in construction and extraction have 53.3 suicides per 100,000, second only to workers in farming, fishing and forestry (84.5 per 100,000). As such, it is an industry imperative to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health and create caring cultures within our companies.

The CDC’s study found that of about 12,300 suicides in the 17 states studied, 1,324 people worked in construction and extraction (10.8 percent) and 1,049 (8.5 percent) worked in management, a category that includes top executives and other management positions.

The CDC tells us there is no single cause. However, several factors can increase a person’s risk for attempting or dying by suicide. On the other hand, having these risk factors does not always mean that suicide will occur. Risk factors include the following:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Family history of suicide or violence
  • Physical illness
  • Feeling alone

Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and make nonfatal attempts than men. The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicide planning and attempts is significantly higher among young adults aged 18 to 29 years than adults aged more than 30 years. American Indians and Alaska Natives, rural populations, and active or retired military personnel also have higher rates of suicide.

In the construction industry, including roofing, there are several factors that make the possibility of attempting suicide more prevalent. The roofing business is seasonal. We work from April to October and get laid off for several months during the winter. Conversely, during the warm months, long com- mutes and even longer workdays in hot weather, compounded by close bids, tight schedules and stringent quality-control measures increase the stress levels of roofers immensely. Depression can set in during these months.

In addition, in construction, we consider ourselves “tough guys”. We believe it is not “manly” to seek help or go to a doctor for medication, despite the fact that some of us will drink alcohol and take illegal drugs to get high. Drug use and addiction are also some of the main causes of the depression that leads to suicide attempts. Unfortunately, men in general are not very likely to ask for help or discuss personal issues. Men may also have easier access to firearms. The CDC says that men are 56.9 percent more likely to use firearms to kill themselves.

To help identify those who may be prone to attempting suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, New York, has developed a list of risk factors. These risk factors are broken down into several warning signs. Consider the following:

  • Changes in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors: This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss or change.
  • Changes in what a person says or does: If a person talks about being a burden to others, feels trapped, experiences unbearable pain, has no reason to live and/or blatantly discusses killing himself/herself, he or she may be having suicidal thoughts.
  • Increases use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looks for a way to kill himself/herself, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acts recklessly.
  • Withdraws from activities.
  • Isolates from family and friends.
  • Sleeps too much or too little.
  • Visits or calls people to say goodbye.
  • Gives away prized possessions.
  • Is aggressive.
  • Experiences changes in mood: depression, loss of interest, rage, irritability, humiliation and anxiety.

No matter what problems a person is dealing with, the volunteers at the Suicide Prevention Hotline want to help those in distress to find a reason to keep living. By calling (800) 273-TALK (8255), a person will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in his/her area, any time. The call is confidential and free.

If you are in a crisis, whether or not you are thinking about killing yourself, please call the Lifeline. People have called for help with many troubles, including substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, abuse, depression, mental and physical illnesses, and loneliness.

LEARN MORE

Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Understanding Suicide Fact Sheet
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Hotline

ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability is Seeking Participants to Submit Preliminary Abstracts

ASTM International Committee E60 on Sustainability is seeking participation through presentations and papers for the Symposium on Balancing Resiliency, Safety, and Sustainability in New Orleans, Louisiana, in conjunction with the committee’s standard development meetings.
 
The committee is soliciting participation on topics related to resiliency, safety, sustainability, and built environments including:
 
• Natural Disasters (Hurricane, Earthquake, Flood, Fire Resistance, etc.)
• Material and System Contributions to Resiliency
• Design Considerations and Challenges Related to Resiliency, Safety, and Sustainability
• Building in the Sustainability Era
• Life Cycle Considerations
• Public Policy Considerations Related to Building for Resiliency and More
 
Potential participants must submit an online 250 – 300 word Preliminary Abstract Form by January 13, 2017. Please email Hannah Sparks (hsparks@astm.org) to confirm your submission. For more information on the symposium, contact chairmen Emily Lorenz (elorenz@pci.org) and Walter Rossiter, Jr. (wjrossiter@verizon.net).
 
To submit a preliminary abstract form visit http://www.astm.org/E60CFP2017.

NIBS States Proposed ABA Resolution to Make Codes and Standards Free Could Reduce Safety

The National Institute of Building Sciences issued an open letter to delegates attending the American Bar Association (ABA) Annual Meeting in August informing of the potential impacts if they vote to support a proposed resolution. The resolution—which advocates that copyrighted codes and standards incorporated by reference in legislation and regulation be made available for free—would alter the way codes and standards are developed in the United States.

In the U.S. construction industry alone, there are hundreds of copyrighted codes and standards that impact everything from seismic requirements and wind loads to water use and life safety. The standards developing organizations (SDOs) that develop these codes and standards have thousands of members, employees and volunteers that participate in the process to incorporate best practices and lessons learned to improve the standards. Each industry, from aeronautics and agricultural to electronics and telecommunications, has a similar structure and industry participation to address their specific needs. Such standards improve safety, drive innovation and improve commerce, both domestically and around the world.

The U.S. Government recognizes the benefit of private industry standards development, as directed by the National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act (NTTAA, P.L. 104-113) and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-119.

If the ABA’s suggested resolution and related advocacy campaign is successful, private-sector-developed standards would be subject to new requirements due to their incorporation by reference in legislation and regulation, and the ability for SDOs to recoup development costs would change considerably.

The development of codes and standards is expensive. Today, the cost is born by those who are ultimately impacted by the standards (whether by participating in the process or purchasing the resulting document). By making such information free online, the ABA resolution would hamper cost recovery through such mechanisms. The result would be that private-sector organizations may no longer be able to invest in the development process, leaving existing standards to remain stagnant (and thus inhibiting innovation) and shifting the responsibility (and expense) of developing future standards to the government.

ABA’s proposed resolution attempts to mitigate any copyright concerns by encouraging government agencies to negotiate licenses with SDOs. However, this change would require agencies to hire staff and implement contracting mechanisms, making it necessary for tax payers to cover the cost of standards development.

The National Institute of Building Sciences—which was established by the U.S. Congress to work with both the public and private sectors to advance building science and the design, construction and operations of buildings to meet national goals of health, safety and welfare—is extremely concerned that the ABA is advocating a one-size-fits-all legislative vehicle that will alter the long-standing tradition of private-sector-developed standards in the United States. The result could reduce safety, increase costs and add a burden to the government and tax-paying citizens.

In lieu of moving forward with the resolution, the Institute suggests the ABA focus on engaging in a meaningful dialogue with the SDO community to help address the changing nature of access to copyrighted materials through the internet and other electronic sources, and, after taking the long-term goals and impacts into consideration, identify a mutually acceptable path forward.

Read the letter.

2016 National Roofing Week Is a Success

As part of National Roofing Week, Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association members celebrated their industry pride in unique ways. The following images were shared via NRCA’s Facebook page:

NRCA Roofing Contractor Members Receive Free Consulting Services

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announces it is now providing consulting services at no charge to its roofing contractor members.

NRCA’s Consulting Services is a benefit of membership that enables contractors to get tips and advice on current business issues, discuss business strategies or issues with consultants in the following areas.

•Legal— Roofing contractor members can obtain information about general legal issues encountered in daily business.

•Marketing— Assistance with current marketing plans is provided, as well as strategies for increasing homeowner and business owner sales and profitability.

•Information Technology— IT strategies for improving and streamlining operations for maximum business performance.

•Human Resources— Solutions to human resources related issues including federal or state employment law, employee relations and human resource management.

•Enterprise Risk Management— Advice about health, safety, insurance, legislative and regulatory issues, or learn more about loss control and regulatory compliance responsibilities.

•Technical— Solutions to technical questions including proper installation, maintenance or repair of various roof systems, or advice on a specific project.

How to Prevent Heat Illness in Roofing Workers

Here in the northeastern U.S., the leaves are turning green, birds are singing and the weather is pleasant. Soon, summer will arrive and this nice weather will turn into excruciatingly high heat and humidity. High heat along with high humidity are some of the major causes of fatalities for workers during the hot summer months. According to the Washington, D.C.-based Occupational Safety and Health Administration, between 2008-12, nine roofers died from heat-related illnesses and accidents in the US. Heat illnesses range from heat rash and heat cramps to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

Heat rash, also known as prickly heat, occurs in hot humid environments. It is caused by sweat not being allowed to evaporate from the skin. It usually occurs in areas of the body where the skin contacts clothing or other skin. Sweat ducts become plugged, resulting in skin rash. Heat rash is more of an annoyance than an illness. The signs and symptoms are usually a painful red rash aggravated by heat, humidity and skin contact. Heat rash, which is often accompanied by infection, is mostly prevented by cleanliness and personal hygiene. The best treatment is to leave hot, humid work environments; allow skin to dry; and bathe regularly. Sometimes baby powder or topical ointments can help.

Heat cramps usually affect workers who sweat a lot during strenuous activity. This sweating depletes the body’s salt and moisture levels. Water loss affects the capability of the body to sweat and, therefore, regulate body temperature. Low salt levels in muscles cause painful cramps. Sometimes these cramps occur after work hours when the employee is resting because the worker did not replenish fluids after finishing the day’s work. Heat cramps may also be a symptom of heat exhaustion. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Atlanta, symptoms of heat cramps are a severe rapid muscle tightening accompanied by pain and spasms usually in the abdomen, arms or legs. Workers with heat cramps should stop all activity and sit in a cool, shady place; drink clear juice or a sports beverage; seek medical attention if the worker has heart problems, is on a low-sodium diet or the cramps do not subside within one hour. Do not return the effected employee to strenuous work for a few hours after the cramps subside because further exertion may lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke.

Heat syncope is fainting. Syncope usually occurs after prolonged standing or sudden rising from a sitting or lying position. Factors that may contribute to heat syncope include dehydration and lack of acclimatization. Symptoms associated with heat syncope include light-headedness and dizziness. Workers with heat syncope should sit or lie down in a cool place when they begin to feel symptoms. They should slowly drink water; clear fruit juice, like pineapple juice; or a sports beverage.

Heat exhaustion is the most common serious heat-related illness and is often referred to as heat prostration or heat collapse. If large amounts of fluid are sweated out and/or you’ve been sick, you will be predisposed to this level of heat illness. Signs and symptoms include continued sweating; cool, clammy, pale, and/or gray skin; temperature normal or slightly elevated; weak rapid pulse; dizziness, weakness and fatigue; and uncoordinated actions. Heat exhaustion, which is accompanied by nausea and headache, often leads to unconsciousness. Immediately remove a worker displaying signs of heat exhaustion from the hot environment and have him or her drink plenty of fluids and rest in a cool place. Untreated heat exhaustion cases may lead to heat stroke.

Heat stroke is the least common but most severe heat illness. If left un- treated, heat stroke can lead to death. The signs and symptoms of heat stroke include an elevated body temperature of 105 F or more. The skin of the victim will usually be hot, dry, flushed and red. There is the possibility that the victim will suffer convulsions. The victim will no longer be sweating adequately and may be confused or become unconscious Immediately call for medical assistance. Victims of heat stroke must be immediately removed from the hot environment. Cool him or her down with tepid compresses on the forehead, neck, groin and underarms—areas where blood flow is close to the surface. The cooler blood immediately spreads to the core. DO NOT USE ice water because the sudden change in temperature may result in shock. Begin fanning the victim with whatever is available: clothes, cardboard, etc. Heat-stroke victims will need medical attention; the aforementioned first-aid measures are life-saving tactics to be taken before the worker is transported to a medical facility.

OSHA also says the best way to stay cool when working in hot environments is to be acclimatized to the heat. Workers who start working in April when the temperatures are cooler and slowly acclimatize fare better when the thermometer climbs into the higher numbers. In addition, wearing a light-colored, wide-brimmed hat will keep the sun off workers’ faces and heads. Also, light-colored, loose-fitting, long-sleeved shirts slow the effects of the hot sun on the body. The days of working shirtless in the hot sun are over. Not only can sun exposure cause skin cancer and dehydrate a person, it also ages the skin rapidly. Cotton is an ideal fabric to wear to slowly wick away sweat, allowing the body to cool naturally. There are also many new synthetic cooling materials on the market to help keep workers cool
in the hot weather.

Staying well hydrated is mandatory in hot weather. Workers may not be thirsty, but they must continue to drink water, juices or sports drinks every 15 minutes. They should not drink alcohol or caffeinated products. Coffee, tea and alcohol can help dehydrate a worker in the heat. A rule of thumb is to have workers check their urine. If they are not urinating, they need to drink more, and if their urine is dark it is a sign there is not enough water in their system.

Remember working in the heat of summer can be very dangerous. We must protect ourselves, our employees and our coworkers from heat-related illnesses. Watch out for each other out there; remember, “We are our brothers’ keepers.”

Learn More

For more information about heat-related illnesses, visit the following websites:
CDC.gov/niosh/topics/heatstress/
OSHA.gov/SLTC/heatillness/edresources.html

Fixed Railing System Provides Fall Protection Around Roof Hatches

The BILCO Co. has introduced its BIL-Guard 2.0, which, like its predecessor, is a fixed railing system that provides a permanent means of fall protection around roof-hatch openings.

The BILCO Co. has introduced its BIL-Guard 2.0, which, like its predecessor, is a fixed railing system that provides a permanent means of fall protection around roof-hatch openings.

The BILCO Co. has introduced its BIL-Guard 2.0, which, like its predecessor, is a fixed railing system that provides a permanent means of fall protection around roof-hatch openings. The new model boasts aluminum construction for increased strength and rigidity, a redesigned self-closing hinge and positive latching system, and stainless-steel hardware throughout. The product is available in mill-finish aluminum and with a safety-yellow powder-coat paint finish. Compliant with OSHA fall-protection standards, the BIL-Guard 2.0 features a mounting system that does not penetrate the roof membrane.

NRCA Addresses OSHA’s Final Rule Governing Workplace Exposure to Crystalline Silica

William A. Good, CAE, vice president of NRCA, states: “Based on our initial review, NRCA has serious concerns regarding OSHA’s new silica regulation. First and foremost, we are concerned the final regulation significantly will increase fall hazards for roofing workers by requiring contractors to implement engineering controls that are not suited to work performed on sloped roofs. We are also concerned the rule will add significant new compliance costs for contractors that OSHA continues to seriously underestimate. Although we continue to have serious concerns, we appreciate OSHA made modest improvements in the final rule in response to concerns we articulated in testimony on the regulation as originally proposed.

“NRCA submitted detailed comments to OSHA in response to the initial proposed regulation released in 2013 and also testified at a hearing on the proposal in April 2014. Additionally, NRCA representatives met with officials in the Office of Management and Budget in February 2016 to reiterate these concerns as the final silica regulation underwent its final review.

“When it becomes effective for the construction industry in June of 2017, OSHA’s final silica regulation will dramatically reduce the permissible exposure level [PEL] for silica in construction workplaces to 50 micrograms per cubic meter (from the current 250) and will establish an action level of 25 micrograms per cubic meter. To meet these much lower levels, new engineering controls will become necessary to ensure compliance. With respect to roofing work, this likely will require workers who face even minimal amounts of exposure to silica dust to use wet cutting methods and dust masks.

“NRCA is most concerned the new requirements will increase the risk of falls for roofing workers. Under the new rule, workers in many cases will have to use wet saws on the rooftop, introducing new hazards, such as slipping on wet surfaces and tripping on hoses. We call on OSHA to work cooperatively with us to identify implementation strategies that protect workers from the new fall hazards created by the rule.

“Despite some improvements in the final rule, NRCA continues to be concerned compliance with the regulation may not always be technologically feasible and will cause much uncertainty for employers. For example, some commercial laboratories have indicated they are not capable of measuring workplace silica levels with accuracy or consistency at such low levels.

“NRCA leadership and staff will continue reviewing the 1,772-page final rule issued March 25 to determine and analyze the potential effects on the roofing industry and will provide further information and guidance for members in the future.”