SULPHUR, La. – Feb. 9, 2017 – The CITGO Contractor Safety Association (CSA) held its 5th annual Contractor Safety Summit at CITGO Park this past November. During the summit, more than 350 contractor foremen and supervisors took part in three separate interactive workshops. The workshops included Leadership Skills; Communication and Perception; as well as Power and Danger of Water and Vacuum. The keynote speaker for the seminar was Brad Livingston who survived two explosions at Colorado Interstate Gas that resulted from a welding mishap on the job. Livingston now travels to industrial facilities sharing his story that reveals the struggle of shortcuts, safety and the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and especially fire retardant clothing.

In addition to the workshops and seminar, more than 30 CITGO Lake Charles Refinery contractors were recognized as CSA Safety Star winners for their proactive engagement with workplace safety. The winners, selected for recognizing and addressing unsafe behaviors and demonstrating a willingness to cross company lines, were acknowledged in front of their peers during the Safety Summit. Six Safety Stars are awarded each month and these winners embody the safety and accountability standards that the CITGO CSA and its summit recognize and emphasize.

CITGO also awarded the first annual Jeff Reeves award to the contract employee who personally exemplified safety excellence this year. Jeff Reeves was a CITGO Capital Construction Manager who passed away in 2016 and who was a champion of safety in the CITGO and contractor community. In each job assignment, Jeff stressed the importance of: “Getting the work done” because it mattered to him, “Performing quality work” because it mattered to him, and “Performing the work safely” because it mattered most to him. The winner of the first annual Jeff Reeves award was Thomas Knippers – R&R Construction. Additional nominees included: Jay Duhon – TRIAD; David Mallet – BROCK; Cody Miers – TIG and Wade Stroud – PSC.

Tomeu Vadell, Vice President & General Manager of the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery, said the Summit is a reflection of the strong safety leadership and commitment to safety excellence that the CSA promotes to all contractors. “The Summit is a great example of the outstanding safety standards and work ethic that is strived for by our contractors. We thank the contractors, sponsors and steering committee members who organized this Summit and who exemplify safety excellence in the field, they are making a difference in safe practices in our industry,” Vadell said.

The CITGO CSA was formed in 1992, with the mission to focus on contractor safety performance improvements. Since its founding, more than 400 contract firms have been a part of CSA at the CITGO Lake Charles Refinery. Today, the CSA is completely operated by contractors with guidance from CITGO sponsors who work in the Lake Charles Refinery Health and Safety, Capital Construction and Maintenance Departments. Each year, the group incorporates new activities that promote safety through meetings and special programs.
CITGO, based in Houston, is a refiner, transporter and marketer of transportation fuels, lubricants, petrochemicals and other industrial products. The company is owned by CITGO Holding, Inc., an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A., the national oil company of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. For more information, visit