#641 - INVISTA (#641)

Date Signed:
June 19, 2008
Date Concluded:
January 18, 2012
Contact Information:
Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs, (202) 693-2213
Participating Facilities
  • INVISTA Seaford, Seaford, Delaware
  • INVISTA Applied Research Center, Newark, Delaware
  • INVISTA Athens, Athens, Georgia
  • INVISTA Dalton, Dalton, Georgia
  • INVISTA La Porte, La Porte, Texas
  • INVISTA Orange, Orange, Texas
  • INVISTA Victoria, Victoria, Texas
Partnership Purpose/Scope

To build on the relationship developed through the OSHA Partnership and VPP programs with Koch Industries, INVISTA desired to establish a similar agreement. This agreement documents and facilitates the relationship by communicating the commitment to develop strong safety and health management systems and to strive toward workplace safety and health excellence. INVISTA's partnership sites allow OSHA to reach out to a diverse industry spectrum and to impact safety and health in a meaningful way. The lessons learned from the partnership site participation will be used to further impact health and safety globally. The seven (7) sites included in this partnership employ 2300 employees and contractors with an additional approximate number of 1175 independent contractors.

Partnership Goals
  • Prevent and reduce employee injuries and illnesses
  • Prevent and reduce employee ergonomic injuries and illnesses at applicable sites
  • Improve communication and knowledge sharing between OSHA and INVISTA
  • Increase VPP participation
Partnership Objectives

Partnership goals will be achieved through strategies and objectives that include:

  • Implement VPP principles at participating sites
  • Continue to Enhance Contractor safety and Prequalification process
  • Continue to enhance PSM programs at covered facilities
  • Enhance ergonomic program management by establishing systems that identify ergonomic risk factors, evaluate and control ergonomic risk, and share best practices in ergonomic program management
  • Use tools such as OSHA Challenge to track sites' progresses to VPP qualification
  • Increase participation in SGE program
Partnership Results

During the evaluation period some progress was made by the OSP in the development of SHMS for the participating facilities. However, INVISTA's available resources for this effort were limited due to a number of factors including two of the OSP participating facilities were not active for part of the year due to downturn in economy; many resources being diverted to support Hurricane Ike recovery efforts, and changes in key staff positions at the company. As of December 31, 2009, OSP participating facilities achieved an overall average TCIR and DART 40% and 80% below their industry averages respectively as determined by the 2009 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) injury and illness rates.

Cultural Survey and SHMS Self-Assessments

To prepare the groundwork for developing effective SHMS at its participating facilities, INVISTA in 2007 conducted a workplace culture survey with 100 questions developed by Texas A&M University. Over fifty percent (50%) of INVISTA employees responded to the survey. The results assisted in identifying gaps with the company's SHMS. The identified gaps included the need to improve communications between the facilities' leadership and workers and the need to improve perceptions in the area of safety values and training. INVISTA plans to conduct a follow up survey in either 2011 or 2012, prior to the conclusion of the OSP.

During this evaluation period, INVISTA continued to work on its own internal self-assessment and monitoring system called Compliance Assurance Management System (CAMS). This system contains 7 major elements, 1.) Leadership and Management Commitment; 2.) Employee Ownership; 3.) Compliance and Risk Assessment; 4.) Hazard and Operability Study; 5.) Training and Education; 6.) Change Management; and 7.) Continuous Improvement. Using CAMS, the OSP participating INVISTA facilities conducted annual self-assessments and the results from these reviews serve as the baseline data for this OSP.

Contractor Safety

In 2009, INVISTA continued to build on its facilities' contractor safety programs. In addition to using a criteria to review contractor qualifications prior to their work onsite, INVISTA requires all contractor workers go through an 8-hour training program and to receive facility specific training via an internal program, the Safe Work Permit program, which is administered by the Site Supervisor. Additionally, these workers undergo training on an annual basis while they are at the facility. Among other topics, this training includes reviews of the information presented on Material Safety Data Sheets provided for chemicals the contractors have brought on site. Lastly, contractors are required to conduct a job hazard analysis before each job starts with weekly audits and issuance of applicable safe work permits for every job.


During the evaluation period, INVISTA placed a special emphasis on the assessment and control of ergonomic risk factors at INVISTA's downstream facilities including OSP participating facilities in Athens, GA and Seaford, DE. These facilities manufacture spinning fibers and filaments which requires repetitive work at these facilities. INVISTA implemented an ergonomics program at these facilities in which ergonomic safety is incorporated into the facility's overall SHMS. To track ergonomic risks and their abatement, INVISTA uses a Discomfort Complaint Evaluation Protocol which is administered once a complaint is received. A hazard evaluation is then performed where ergonomic risk factors and relevant medical information are recorded along with trends and improvements. Also, a Physical Ability Test is administered during the new hire process to assist in proper job placement. Finally, an annual self assessment incorporating ergonomic surveys is performed. For facilities with minimal ergonomic risk factors, such as upstream facilities, workers are provided with awareness training about ergonomic safety programs during annual safety meetings and the facilities distribute monthly reminders with information on ergonomics.

VPP and SGE Program Participation

At the end of the evaluation period, the following OSP participating facilities have achieved various stages of VPP activities:

  • INVISTA Victoria, Texas has been a VPP Star facility since December 18, 2007.
  • INVISTA Orange, Texas submitted its VPP application in 2009.
  • INVISTA Dalton, GA is working on its application with assistance from another INVISTA facility and expects to submit it in early 2010.
  • INVISTA Athens, GA has started the process to obtain VPP Star status. The facility has established a relationship with a local company that has been a VPP Star facility since 2006, and members of INVISTA Athens' VPP implementation team visited the local VPP company in early 2009.
  • INVISTA Applied Research Center, DE is in the early stages of implementing SHMS principles.
  • INVISTA Seaford, DE, has delayed its active efforts towards VPP participation due to major restructuring efforts.
  • INVISTA has two SGEs, one located at INVISTA Victoria, TX a VPP facility and the other is located at a non-OSP participating facility in Wichita, Kansas.
  • INVISTA hopes to add five more SGEs prior to the conclusion of the OSP in 2012.

*Due to severe weather conditions and damages to INVISTA facilities following Hurricane Ike, OSHA and INVISTA agreed to postpone the initial start date until normal INVISTA operations resumed. Accordingly, an addendum with an effective date of January 18, 2009 was signed by all of the original INVISTA signatories and the former Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor, Thomas M. Stohler.

The partnership signing ceremony held at the Victoria, Texas, U.S. site. Shown from left to right are: Bob Francois, President, Specialty Materials; Walter Tyler, Global EHS Director; Don Shalhoub, then Deputy Assistant Secretary, OSHA; Jeff Gentry, INVISTA Chairman and CEO; Warren Primeaux, President, INVISTA Intermediates; and David Dotson, Senior Vice President, Upstream Operations.

The partnership signing ceremony held at the Victoria, Texas, U.S. site. Shown from left to right are: Bob Francois, President, Specialty Materials; Walter Tyler, Global EHS Director; Don Shalhoub, then Deputy Assistant Secretary, OSHA; Jeff Gentry, INVISTA Chairman and CEO; Warren Primeaux, President, INVISTA Intermediates; and David Dotson, Senior Vice President, Upstream Operations.