West Chester site earns prestigious VPP Star

- Press release
Sartomer, a business line of Arkema, has achieved “Star” status, the highest ranking possible under the U.S. Occupation Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Voluntary Protection Programs (VPP), at its West Chester plant. Site employees held a “Star Worksite” flag-raising ceremony to celebrate the distinction.

VPP status recognizes employers and employees “who demonstrate exemplary achievement in the prevention and control of occupational safety and health hazards, and the development, implementation and continuous improvement of their safety and health management system,” according to OSHA’s website. Less than 0.02% of eligible U.S. worksites under OSHA’s jurisdiction are VPP “Star” certified.


“On behalf of our West Chester employees, Sartomer is honored to enter into this partnership with OSHA,” said René Neron, plant manager for Sartomer in West Chester. “The VPP ‘Star’ certification recognizes our safety performance and ongoing commitment to safety excellence, which benefits all interested parties: our employees, the community, and ultimately, our customers. Operating our site safely is integral to everything we do on a daily basis.”


An OSHA assessment team conducted an extensive evaluation of the West Chester plant. The team found no safety issues while noting several areas of safety excellence, including safety culture, employee-training programs, and a safe work permitting process. Additionally, Sartomer met OSHA’s strict standards in the following categories: management leadership and employee involvement; worksite analysis; hazard prevention and control; and safety and health training.


The West Chester site’s safety accomplishments and programs include:

  • More than seven years without a lost time injury
  • An integrated digital control system (DCS) for process monitoring and control
  • Training for the plant’s Emergency Response Team (ERT), including fire school training
  • Required attendance for all site employees at monthly safety meetings
  • Daily site leadership review of all incidents and safety concerns
  • Plant personnel trained in First Aid, CPR & AED (Automated External Defibrillation)
  • Several employee-led teams dedicated to increasing site safety


“We’re proud to be granted VPP Star Certification at West Chester and pleased that our employees there are acknowledged for their laser-focus on health and safety,” said Chris Glover, vice president, Manufacturing, Health, Environment, Safety, and Goods and Services Purchasing, Arkema Inc. “Sartomer in West Chester exemplifies our safety culture. At Arkema, safety is a core value and we never compromise the well-being of our employees. This recognition from OSHA encourages us to reach even higher in our safety and health initiatives companywide.”


Approximately 82 employees work at Sartomer’s West Chester site, which produces specialty acrylate and methacrylate monomers and oligomers. Sartomer joins Arkema Inc. sites in Axis, Ala., Bristol, Pa., and Beaumont, Texas that have been VPP Star certified.


About Arkema:

A designer of materials and innovative solutions, Arkema shapes materials and creates new uses that accelerate customer performance. Our balanced business portfolio spans high-performance materials, industrial specialties and coating solutions. Our globally recognized brands are ranked among the leaders in the markets we serve. Reporting annual sales of €8.8 billion ($10.4 billion) in 2018, we employ approximately 20,000 people worldwide and operate in close to 55 countries. We are committed to active engagement with all our stakeholders. Our research centers in North America, France and Asia concentrate on advances in bio-based products, new energies, water management, electronic solutions, lightweight materials and design, home efficiency and insulation. www.arkema.com


Richard Barnes
Manager, Media Relations & Communications - Arkema Inc.