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WASHINGTON (May 21, 2020) – The American Chemistry Council (ACC) recognizes Covestro LLC with its 2020 Responsible Care® Initiative of the Year award, for the company’s unique safety training format inspired by popular “escape room” teambuilding experiences.

Covestro’s production site in Newark, Ohio, created the “Escape Room: Hazard Recognition Safety Training” program to deliver important hazard recognition training information to employees on five common facility safety hazards: 1) Hazardous/Unidentified Chemicals, 2) Hand Safety, 3) Lock-Out/Tag-Out (LOTO), 4) Electrical Hazards and 5) Slips, Trips and Falls.

An “escape room” is a popular teambuilding experience that takes place in a themed room, where participants are challenged to work together, solving puzzles and finding clues to complete a mission and “escape the room.”

Covestro’s hazard recognition safety training program is based on an “Active Learning” approach, which transforms traditional, slide presentation-based lecture-style training into an interactive experience that has increased employees’ ability to recognize and mitigate common hazards and promotes greater teamwork and engagement around safety topics.

The Active Learning training sequence emphasizes training based not only on interaction with educational materials, but also on the employee’s own knowledge and guidance from colleagues. The “escape room” format gives employees the opportunity to apply learnings into real-world situations.

“Continued education and training is a priority for Responsible Care companies, to enhance safety in all facility operations,” said Tara Henriksen, ACC’s Managing Director of Responsible Care. “Covestro’s Escape Room training program based on teamwork and engagement helps to make education fun and effective, and can serve as a model for other ACC member companies.”

Feedback from training participants has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Covestro, with participants praising the active learning education format that emphasizes teamwork.

“In addition to employees recognizing and mitigating key hazard scenarios, the Escape Room exercise helps to build stronger teams and interpersonal relationships. The hands-on approach allows for greater knowledge retention, which is demonstrated by an improvement in the quality of submittals to the facility’s Near Miss/Hazard reporting system,” said Adam Houdeshell, production trainer at Covestro and one of the designers of the Escape Room. Rounding out the design team for the initiative are Chad Embrey, Melissa Van Balen and Chase Ashcraft.

The training format can be modified to address additional topics, as well as be expanded to other Covestro sites globally. Covestro has implemented the Escape Room training format at its largest site in the U.S., as well as production sites in China and India, and has plans to launch the training at sites in Germany, Thailand and Italy.

The Responsible Care Initiative of the Year was selected by ACC members and Responsible Care Partner company representatives, who heard presentations from three company finalists at a special Responsible Care webinar and then voted to select the winning project.

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