Western Dubuque Biodiesel recognized for exemplary safety record

By The Iowa Biodiesel Board | September 20, 2019

Western Dubuque Biodiesel has received recognition from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration for achieving 1 million hours with zero lost-time accidents.

A member company of the Iowa Biodiesel Board, Western Dubuque Biodiesel’s general manager, Tom Brooks, made the announcement at the company’s annual meeting in September. The Iowa Biodiesel Board offered its congratulations to the company.

“We congratulate the entire team at Western Dubuque Biodiesel on this outstanding achievement,” said Grant Kimberley, IBB executive director. “As a small facility with 30 employees, the plant had to run for 12 years accident-free to achieve this million-hour designation—no small feat in the manufacturing industry.”

Opened in 2006, the Farley, Iowa, biodiesel production plant can produce 30 MMgy. OSHA regularly recognizes companies that achieve safety standards.

“This award is a credit to the great team we have in Farley,” Brooks said. “Our entire organization understands the importance of creating a safe work environment so everyone can go home to their families safe every night. We built our facility with safety foremost in our minds, and we have redundancy in our procedures to ensure it. We have buddy systems, weekly safety reviews and annual safety training, among other best-practice procedures.”

Biodiesel itself is nontoxic, biodegradable and has the highest flash point of any liquid fuel, which means it takes more heat to ignite than other fuels, like petroleum. Brooks noted that while biodiesel is the safest fuel to use, handle and store, working with fuel production components can be dangerous, so safety must take top priority.

Western Dubuque Biodiesel earned its BQ-9000 certification in 2007, which includes a safety component in addition to quality assurance recognition.

Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and coproducts, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry. 


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