VIDEO: CITGO Lake Charles unit receives AWO safety award

Written by Nick Blenkey
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The American Waterways Operators’ (AWO) Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee has presented its inaugural safety award to AWO affiliate member CITGO Petroleum Corporation’s Lake Charles, La., marine department and facility.

The CITGO unit received this award in recognition of its commitment to workplace safety, demonstrated by its requirement that the dock operator be present while someone is transiting the gangway from the facility to a vessel. This practice ensures the safety the individual utilizing the gangway through close visual observation.

“All of us at CITGO are extremely proud to be named the inaugural recipient of AWO’s safety award,” said Carlos Jordá, president and CEO, CITGO Petroleum Corporation. “Safety is our top priority, and this prestigious award is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the CITGO Lake Charles marine department.”

The award was presented virtually in line with COVID-19 safety precautions in place at CITGO and across the tugboat, towboat and barge industry.

Representatives on hand for the presentation included, among others:

  • Karl Schmidt, Vice President Supply and Marketing, CITGO Petroleum Corporation;
  • Jennifer Carpenter, President and CEO, American Waterways Operators;
  • Matt Lagarde, Assistant Vice President, Ingram Barge Company and Chairperson, AWO Interregion Safety Committee; and
  • Jim Fletcher, Owner/President, Team Services LLC and Chairperson, AWO Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee.

“AWO is proud of the work that the Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee is doing to raise awareness of best practices in maritime safety,” said Carpenter. “The subcommittee has identified safe access/egress at the vessel-to-facility interface as a serious safety issue, and CITGO’s Lake Charles Marine Department richly deserves this inaugural award for its leadership in this area and for its commitment to ensuring its facility is a safe work environment.”

CITGO VP of Supply and Marketing Karl Schmidt, was among CITGO officials participating in virtual award ceremony
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