Redd was brought on board just seven months ago to facilitate repairs at the refinery following the Nov. 4, 2009 explosion, improve the refinery’s safety measures, and work with the community in settling insurance claims and building trust in the refinery’s operation.
That trust was slow in coming, but Redd put very good safety procedures in place to the point Silver Eagle now is beginning to receive inquiries from other refineries on safety procedures, according to Silver Eagle spokesperson Michael Smith.
Among measures he’s responsible for is the addition of a full-time American Petroleum Institute inspector on staff to oversee the mechanical integrity of the plant.
“That’s a huge step,” Smith said.
“He’s done a tremendous job with the safety culture, and in bringing the refinery through a tough time,” Smith said, noting that every meeting at the plant now begins with a safety moment, even meetings not specifically geared to safety issues.
Additionally, key people now in charge of the plant “all passed Mike’s (Redd) safety test,” Smith said.
Redd worked with community leaders to be open and transparent concerning the plant’s operation, something Smith promises will continue with Redd’s departure.
“We know what to do, how to do it and we intend on doing it,” Smith said.
The plant isn’t fully operational yet, Smith said, but he said with the start-up of the vacuum unit, the company has proved it will be transparent in its practices.
Smith added that the company continues to want to hear any concerns residents may have.
Recently, they received a call about an odor in a nearby neighborhood. They immediately went to check it out.
A homeowner, whose house was severely damaged in the explosion also called with concerns about something found in her yard.
“We went immediately with a lab technician,” Smith said.
“We’re going to react to any complaint, and hopefully (residents) feel comfortable.”
In a press release, Redd said the change in leadership was planned from the time he was brought on board.
“My skills are as a problem solver, and as a catalyst for positive culture change,” he said.
“I was hired to identify the factors which contributed to the incident, and recommend programs, and systems which, when implemented, can prevent reoccurrence.”
Redd said his expertise is in root-cause analysis, and in recommending corrective action. Smith added that Redd’s expertise is not in operating as a plant manager.
Redd had placed other projects on hold to work with Silver Eagle and said he is now working on a couple of interesting projects involving U.S. manufacturing/process companies.
The projects are designed to help them lower operating costs while improving safety, by changing the mindset of those involved.