The success of any company hinges not only on the products and services offered to the market, but more critically, on the capabilities, performance and conduct of its employees. Recognising the contribution that employees make to the quality of its offerings and adhering to Occupational Health Safety (OHS), forms a crucial part of the business philosophies that Air Products practices.
Air Products, a leading industrial and specialty gas products and chemicals company, believes that total safety amounts to the integration of safety into all company activities with the objective of attaining industry leadership in safety performance.
The annual Air Products Quality and Safety Awards, held in Johannesburg in April 2012, paid tribute to employees who had invested their time and efforts beyond the norm.
Mike Hellyar, managing director Air Products SA and Josua le Roux, general manager, central support: Air Products SA.
"Quality and safety need to be entrenched as the underlying business principles within the mindset and daily behaviour of all our employees. We take pride in transferring the knowledge necessary for each employee to work together cohesively in applying these principles. The annual Air Products Quality and Safety Awards are a tangible indication of the efforts of the human resources within the Group to achieve incredible quality and safety levels," says Mike Hellyar, Managing Director of Air Products.
"While we acknowledge that all our employees are responsible for our success in the marketplace, it would be fair to say that in each category of the Awards, there are some employees who have produced exemplary results," adds Josua le Roux, General Manager Central Support at Air Products.
The winner of the Dexter Baker individual award was Gaetano Perillo, Financial Manager at Air Products Head Office. "Gaetano's commitment and dedication over many years to the company and its policies as well as meeting strict deadlines in delivering the financial results are solid examples of how he plays a role in influencing the opinions and attitudes of employees in his division, as well as in the Group as a whole," says Hellyar. "The On Site Commercial Team won the Dexter Baker team award for their outstanding dedication, commitment and effort during challenging negotiations with a client, to secure an important long term contract for the company," says Le Roux.
The Geoff Prevett Internal Customer Service Award was presented to the Management Information System Team; while the Kempton Park Integrated Industrial Gases Team received the Geoff Prevett External Customer Service Award.
The ‘Near Miss' safety award was presented to Daniel Valtyn of Air Products Cape Town Facility, the Leonard Parker Poole award went to the Pinetown Facility and the Springs Facility received the Chairman's Safety Shield.
In addition to the quality and safety awards, there were two individual and two team MD Special Awards made. "Johan Blumenthal, from Head Office, was recognised for his commitment and dedication in the task of updating all the gas supply agreements, credit applications and associated documents to ensure legal compliance and protection," says Le Roux.
"During the installation and commissioning of a recent freezing tunnel project, Phillip Venn provided leadership and guidance to his team while working under pressure to meet extremely tight deadlines," adds Le Roux.
The manner in which the Pinetown HP Fill upgrade was executed by the Pinetown team, made them an obvious winner in this category. They were joined on the podium by the Gaseous Nitrogen Phase 1 Project Team, who managed to successfully and professionally execute a major project on time and well within budget.
"The dedication and commitment exhibited by all the award winners benefits not only Air Products, but also the company's customers. By encouraging adherence to stringent quality and safety procedures and policies, all stakeholders are assured of a safer working environment and products that are examples of best practice," Hellyar concludes.