Safety Spotlight: Chemical Release Preparedness

September 25, 2019

Aaa, September! In addition to thinking about all things fall, it’s National Preparedness Month. We wanted to be prepared, and help you be prepared, for chemical spills & releases in the workplace.

How do you prepare for a chemical release in the workplace? First and foremost, employees should be familiar with all of the chemicals they work with, as well as their hazards and potential hazards. This information is on the label and the SDS.

If a spill should occur, here are are the questions you should ask yourself:

A) Is it hazardous, or will there be a hazardous reaction because of the release?

If the chemical is an immediate risk, leave the area immediately. You will want to note details such as type of chemical, quantity, and location, and report as quickly as possible. Follow the procedure in your company’s emergency plan for this type of emergency. This may involve measures such as sounding an alarm, evacuating, closing doors, blocking entrances, or wearing an emergency respirator. If the material is flammable, ignition sources in the area should be shut down. The spill will need to be cleaned up by professionals.

B) How big is it? Is it controlled? If not, can it be safely controlled?

If the release is uncontrolled, and you can do so in a safe manner, the first thing you will want to do is stop the release. If it cannot be contained or controlled in a safe manner, it will need to be cleaned up by professionals. Mark the area with a sign, or barricade it to keep workers away until it has been cleaned up.

C) Do you have the equipment, material, and training to clean up the release?

The appropriate material to clean up the release may consist of disposal containers, PPE, a sufficient quantity of the appropriate absorbent material, water, and/or a neutralizing or deactivating chemical, depending on the unique properties of the chemical released. These materials, and/or spill kits, should be stored close to where an accident may occur. Mock spill cleanups can be held (with water) to familiarize employees with the company’s release response procedure.

Safety Spotlight: Heat Stress + PPE

June 25, 2019

The start of the hot weather months has arrived! At CORECHEM, we are diving into Heat Stress training. If you or your employees work in the heat, especially while wearing bulky PPE, Heat Stress training is imperative.

Personal Protective Equipment for Chemical Handling

What is Heat Stress? 

It’s a 95 degree day. Sun is beating down on your back, and you’re pouring up chemicals with sweat dripping off your face. To top it off… you’re wearing a heavy rubber chemical suit.

You may not be entirely comfortable at this point, but when does the discomfort become a medical emergency? Well, here’s what we learned:

When you work in the heat, your body begins to sweat in an effort to cool the body. Sweat evaporation cools the body, but also depletes the body of necessary water and minerals.

Heat Stress: If you aren’t replenishing your body with the necessary fluid and minerals, or if the natural cooling process isn’t working (i.e. sweat cannot evaporate due to bulky PPE), Heat Stress can occur.

So, how do we prevent Heat Stress?

  • Firstly, if you aren’t acclimatized to working in hot conditions, get your body used to it a little at a time.
  • Remember that in high heat your natural thirst won’t be enough. You will have to make a conscious effort to replace the fluid & minerals you are losing.
  • Take breaks and eat light, cool meals.
  • Use a ‘buddy system’ to watch out for each other.
  • If you ignore the warning signs, you may get:

Heat Exhaustion: If your body is not able to re-establish normal fluid and mineral levels after several days of Heat Stress, your body begins to malfunction. This is Heat Exhaustion. Symptoms include: Nausea, Headache, Muscle Aches, Fatigue, Loss of Muscle Coordination, Hyperventilation, Dizziness, Excessive Thirst, Changed Heartbeat, Anger, Anxiety, or Impaired Judgement (affected worker may insist they are ‘fine’).

Heat Stroke: If you continue to ignore the warning signs of heat related illness, you may have a Heat Stroke. This is a serious and life threatening condition when the body can no longer cool itself at all. Symptoms include: Confusion, Fainting, Collapsing, Seizure, Dilated Pupils, Dry Skin, or Extremely High Body Temperature.

Stay safe this summer! Don’t get Heat Stress!

Employee Spotlight: Timothy & Aundrea De Vore

This month, we have a duo Employee Spotlight on Mr. & Mrs. Timothy & Aundrea De Vore!

Tim & Aundi are recent additions to the CORECHEM team but are already making a positive impact. In fact, if you are a customer, there is a good chance Aundrea has already taken your order, arranged your freight, or helped you on the phone. All of us at CORECHEM appreciate this outgoing & friendly couple and their enthusiasm for getting involved and making things happen!

We asked Aundrea to tell us about her role at CORECHEM, as well as a little about herself:

“I joined the CORECHEM team as Customer Service Representative on September 10, 2018. Just three months later, I became our Customer Service Manager. While the opportunity at CORECHEM has been new and exciting thus far, it has also definitely been an adjustment for me.

The most important part of this job is getting to meet our customers and assisting them with any needs they may have. Having been here for several months now, I can say that I have truly enjoyed this, and what I have learned so far. Growing up, I was always taught to find a career that you enjoy while helping others. I believe that I have found the perfect fit for me.

I am currently finishing my bachelor’s degree in Business Management at ECPI University. While studying my degree, I have been able to use some of the knowledge here at CORECHEM. I am hoping to bring new ideas to the table that will help everyone here excel. When I am not at work or studying for school, you can find me outdoors with my husband and two dogs (Camo and Lucy).”

Aundrea’s husband Timothy shared his thoughts with us as well:

“I joined CORECHEM’s production team on January 24, 2019. I have never worked with chemicals before, so being in this environment has definitely been an adjustment for me. I have been learning a lot, not only about the chemical industry but about myself.

I enjoy working for CORECHEM because I feel like I am a part of a team that cares. One thing I have found I like the most is that people at CORECHEM are always willing to help you and help you to challenge yourself, not only on a professional level, but on a personal level as well. That is what is amazing about the culture at CORECHEM.

I dream about going to school to get a degree in Engineering, in either electronics or industrial. My goal in life is to open an orphanage somewhere and to help kids in need. Not only that, I want to give back to God for everything He has blessed me and my beautiful wife with.”

Earlier this month, Timothy & Aundrea took a vacation to the Bahamas. We asked them to give us a recap, in lieu of taking team CORECHEM along! Here’s what they had to say:

“This was truly an experience that we will never forget. We started out by flying to Miami, Florida (Aundrea’s first time flying). We spent the day touring different areas of Florida and diving into their culture.

Once we boarded the cruise ship, we were off to the Bahamas. Our ports included Nassau, Half Moon Cay, and Grand Turk. Each port was unique and offered a lot of new experiences for both of us. Some of our favorite parts were enjoying the crystal blue water, seeing the coral reef and fishes while snorkeling, and soaking in all the sun we could get!

It was amazing to be able to spend this time together, but we are glad to be back at work serving and helping our customers.”

Thanks, Tim & Aundi, we’re glad you’re back, too!

Employee Spotlight : Olivia Pool

This month we would like to put the spotlight on a new team member: Olivia Pool. She joined the CORECHEM team on June 4th, 2018, to fill the much needed role as Supply chain coordinator. Her work here has already more than filled our expectations, and has brought a sense of relief to the entire team. We have asked her to reflect on the job thus far:

June 4th, I joined the CORECHEM team as the Supply Chain Coordinator. In my previous work history, I had been in several different logistics and management positions, but the opportunity at CORECHEM has been a new and unique application of these skills. Having just passed the one-month mark on my tenure, I was asked to take a moment to reflect on my experience to this point. As I considered these four weeks, three ideas came to mind: what I have truly enjoyed about this job, what I have learned so far, and what I hope to accomplish.

Coming in to the job, I expected to be overwhelmed: any company whose product offering is as extensive and knowledge intensive as CORECHEM’s would—naturally—be quite a task to master. In this regard, I have not been disappointed. I told a friend a few days after starting, “It just seems like there aren’t enough hours to the day! I start through my ‘to do’ list, and, the next thing I know, it’s already the end of the day.” The challenge of learning—learning about our products, our transportation channels, and our customers—has certainly kept my mind endlessly occupied. Most particularly the challenges all suppliers, producers and distributors are facing considering the driver shortage in the market was a dynamic I had not previously been truly aware of. I look forward to every day learning better ways to be more effective in my application of all the new knowledge I’m being gifted with. My favorite aspect of the job, thus far, has been the opportunity to learn about the various businesses with which we partner. To see all the vibrant and successful businesses in our community and the broader world using the products we provide to solve problems and make products that help people has been truly eye opening. American industry and the unique people who have built it never cease to amaze me. I have loved the opportunities I have had to talk with these hard-working people and learn how I can better make the work they do more seamless and effective. I take very seriously the responsibility I have been given to be a part of the daily workings of other people’s businesses, and I am eager to learn how I can fulfill this responsibility better as I learn and develop.

As I approached this new opportunity—considering what I wanted to accomplish in this new work—I hope to bring a sense of ownership to my work in the supply chain. Ownership in the sense that I treat this job with the same kind of seriousness and industry that I would if I owned the entire company, but also by looking at my work in supply chain here as though I owned our customer’s businesses. If I were a customer of CORECHEM , what priorities and convictions would I want the person in charge of acquiring my components and inventory to have. I have always enjoyed bringing this mindset to my previous pays of employment, and I’m eager to discover the ways I can apply these principles here. I’m so excited to have the chance!

Team Building

Each month at our staff meeting, CORECHEM Inc. employees join in a team building activity, employees are inspired to work together. We are encouraged to communicate, trust, innovate and strategize to complete, and maybe even “win” the challenge.

Here at CORECHEM Inc., we believe that culture is what we make it. If we want a culture that is fun and encourages growth and inspires teamwork and innovation, effort must be put into it. As in any culture, we realize that it starts at the leadership level. We choose activities that help sculpt our culture into one that allows each of us to be unique contributors to a vision that is broader and bigger than any one of us but would not be possible without each member of our team. It is our goal that, by getting ourselves out of our comfort zone and into a challenging situation, we learn to respect our team members and contribute our talents to the end goal. During these activities we encourage behaviors that are healthy to our team in a fun environment, so we can recognize the same behaviors and talents in our everyday tasks.

This month, our activity highlighted the principles of communication and trust. Each employee was paired up with an employee from a different department and told to sit back to back. One of the partners received a picture, and the other a piece of blank paper. The object was to tell the person with the blank piece of paper how to draw the picture without telling them what the picture was.  The results were impressive!

Other activities have included putting questions inside balloons and tossing them to each other, taping pair words on one another’s backs and asking questions to find the match, and building bridges out of pasta, and much more. Each activity has helped us grow together as a team.  

Tennessee Association Of Utility Districts ( TAUD) Operator Expo

 

The TAUD ( Tennessee Association Of Utility Districts) Operator Expo is held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in Lebanon,Tennessee. Its purpose is to exhibit vendors and provide demonstrations from experts in the utility industry, while giving other utility professionals from across the state the chance to meet and talk. Meet us at the TAUD Operator Expo in Lebanon, Tennessee on May 17th 2018! We look forward to seeing you there!

 

 

 

Women In Water

On March 1st, TAUD announced the formation of Women in Water, a TAUD networking group “dedicated to women actively engaged in the water and waste water profession” [Greg Baker, TAUD Newsletter]. Our own Chloe Pool had the honor of being the first topic presenter for Women in Water at the March 7th gathering in Alcoa, TN.
Before Women in Water’s establishment, Chloe enjoyed an informal gathering of women in the water industry, the first of which was a lunch involving Dina Gouge of Southeastern Tank, Ashley Pealer-Richards of J.R. Wauford, Kathy Quartermaine of TN 811, Jenna Hazelet of ServLine, and Carolyn Rambo of Pinnacle Financial Partners, with hopes of the network growing over time. Each of these women now serve on the Women in Water committee, joined by First Utility District of Knoxville’s Kena Hyers and April Cansler. Chloe explained that “TAUD continually demonstrates such willingness to support the water and waste water industry in a variety of ways—and they continue to do so through the establishment of Women in Water, which is growing every day.” She expressed her thankfulness “to be part of the supportive TAUD family.”
TAUD’s Women in Water was formed to support the expanding presence of women in the industry. Dina Gouge, a committee member of Women in Water as well as associate member of TAUD, describes the purpose of the group being to “discuss issues important to women in the workplace.” For additional information regarding Women in Water, please feel free to contact Chloe Pool (Chloe@corecheminc.com), any of Women in Water’s committee members, or TAUD directly at www.taud.org.

The Women in Water logo was designed by April Cansler

NSF Certification

What is NSF?

NSF is the leading global provider of public health and safety solutions, and is continuously meeting the needs of the community around them. This includes stakeholders, government agencies, and the overall business community. NSF started out in 1944 as the National Sanitation Foundation, which focused on the sanitation of soda fountains. This was the beginning of many of the regulations and standards that they use today. In 1990, they changed their name to NSF International, keeping the NSF as an original part of their name.

The NSF focuses on extensive product testing and material analysis, and they frequently conduct unannounced plant audits to ensure that quality is being maintained. This helps protect food, water, consumer products and the environment from unintentional and intentional contamination. They also provide voluntary auditing, education, and risk management solutions to ensure that businesses are meeting the requirements needed. The NSF mark ensures that the products you are purchasing are thoroughly tested and comply with all NSF/ANSI standard requirements.

“NSF is key to making sure that products meet strict standards for public health protection.”

What This Means For Your Company:

Currently 48 of the 50 states In the United States of America require compliance to NSF/ANSI-60, for drinking water. CORECHEM Inc. has been an NSF certified facility for water treatment chemicals since 2014. Our customers can be assured that all of our products are of the highest quality, meeting or exceeding state regulations.

View list of NSF-Certified Chemicals

View list on NSF Website

Hurricane Harvey’s Effect on Chemical Supply

August 30, 2017

Our thoughts and prayers here at CORECHEM, Inc. are with those who have recently been affected by the Tropical Storm Harvey, which made landfall as a category four Hurricane.  Families and businesses all over the states of Texas and Louisiana have been hit hard by the fury of the storm. As a company, we are sympathetic with the individuals and show our support to anyone affected by the storm.  CORECHEM, Inc. is an active supporter of the committed charitable organization known as the Rapid Relief Team (commonly known as the RRT). (https://www.rapidreliefteam.org/blog/region/us/.) This team has spent many hours with the community at large ensuring that their needs are met after such an awful tragedy.

(For more information about RRT’s efforts concerning Tropical storm Harvey, please visit: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6307554206718967809)

HOW THIS AFFECTS CHEMICAL SUPPLY :

According to https://www.reuters.com/article/us-storm-harvey-energy-prices-idUSKCN1B8256, 13% of the country’s refining capacity is shut down because of the effects of storm Harvey. Oil refineries all along the coast are cutting down production by half, as employees and raw materials cannot pass the flooded roadways; not to mention excessive flooding and damage to equipment, facilities and processes. Supplies of inorganic chemicals (such as sodium hydroxide and sodium chloride salt) are also falling short, and fuel prices are increasing rapidly, leading to economic fears.

CORECHEM, Inc. is currently monitoring the supply situation for all our products from the coast, to ensure that our customers’ needs are met during this time of trial and limited resource.  Contact us via email (sales@corecheminc.com) or call (800) 258-5829 to discuss specifics on how Hurricane Harvey could impact your chemical supply chain.