HATTIESBURG, MS. - A local cylinder gas fill plant was named National Plant of the Year by Airgas, an Air Liquide company.
Selected among 350 Airgas plants across the country, the Hattiesburg fill plant was the top performing fill plant in the South Division of the company, and surpassed other region leaders in safety and performance measures.
Plant Operations Manager Rocky Arnau says, "“It is quite an honor and we really appreciate the recognition that all of the hard work that these guys put in to be at the top.” In 2016, the plant had zero accidents for the second straight year and passed all compliance audits with near perfect marks.
"What they have done they have given us a set of metrics for this plant. Not only did we meet expectations but we exceeded expectations on the metrics that they gave us" says Arnau.
The team of 22 plant operators and drivers – who fill and distribute cylinders of gases such as oxygen, nitrogen, argon, and helium to customers across Mississippi – produced around 21,000 high pressure cylinders per month, with one of the highest production and fulfillment rates in the South Division.
“This is an exceptional accomplishment, to be chosen as the best from almost 350 Airgas cylinder plants in the country,” says Jay Worley, Senior Vice President of Distribution Operations for Airgas.
“This National Cylinder Plant of the Year award recognizes the outstanding safety culture and productivity generated by the dedication and teamwork of each associate at the Hattiesburg plant" says Worley.
Airgas CEO Pascal Vinet, Chief Operating Officer Andy Cichocki, South Division President John Sheehan, and South Region President Edwin Robertson joined Worley on a visit to the Byron Street plant on Tuesday, July 18 to celebrate the plant’s success, tour the facility and personally congratulate the plant’s 24 Hattiesburg employees.
The Hattiesburg plant received a National Cylinder Plant of the Year trophy made from a three foot gold cylinder.
Additionally, each plant associate receives a personalized award ring commemorating the achievement.
This is the inaugural year of the fill plant award, which will be an annual tradition going forward. “We are glad to set the bench mark for the company and looking forward to retaining that title for the years to come" Arnau say.