People Make It Happen


Truck workers

In just three decades Airgas has grown to become a nearly $5 billion leader in the packaged gas industry and a significant player in the U.S. bulk market. The strategies employed have proven successful. They are built on a solid foundation of entrepreneurship and innovation, deploying the best salespeople, drivers, fillers, safety professionals and other specialists. The credit for Airgas’ success goes not only to the company leaders who steered the course, but equally to the associates who have made it happen.

Today, more than 15,000 Airgas employees work in approximately 1,100 locations, including branches, cylinder fill plants, production facilities, specialty gas laboratories and regional distribution centers.

“They’re family. I don’t know how to describe it more than that. Family is whoever you hold close. You take care of each other. Family doesn’t have to mean blood. . . It’s not the Airgas company — talk to me about the Airgas family.”

Al Crichton, President, Western Division, retired 2006


“Continued training taps into our associates desire to work for a company that truly believes in being the best service provider.”

Dan Tatro, President, Airgas Nor Pac, retired 2010

Airgas has always understood the importance of knowledgeable employees. Training is key, in technical skills, product education, management resources or customer service. Whether in engineering solutions teams, the R&D group, or SAP implementation, professionalism of approach pervades all Airgas activity.

Cutting and welding classes

Truck drivers, for instance, receive the most up-to-date instruction available and have achieved the lowest accident rate of any large fleet in the compressed gas industry. Airgas University makes training accessible and easy through courses that are available online, such as “Regulator Change-out Training” or “Hazards of Industrial Gases.” These video-based training modules are developed by experienced Airgas product and safety experts. Airgas University offers associates more than 1,400 programs in all, in gases, welding, safety, selling, leadership, operations, computer skills and more. And customer service training is ongoing and constantly revitalized.

Airgas associates take Cutting and Welding classes so they can better understand and meet customer needs.


Each year, Airgas celebrates the talent and dedication of its employees. Recognition awards go to regions, businesses and teams, as well as to individual associates for outstanding performance at local, regional and national levels. “National Driver of the Year” acknowledges stellar safe-driving records and outstanding customer service. The Achievement Award for Sales Excellence honors sales performance beyond expectations. And the Branch of the Year award recognizes top-notch financial performance and safety records. At the leadership level, the Scott Melman Award honors “professionalism, perseverance, enthusiasm, energy, a sense of honor, and the courage to speak up and make a difference.” The Gordon L. Keen Award is given annually to those who help Airgas expand to new horizons through acquisition or innovation.

Airgas believes its people are the best. In 2005 nearly 3,000 Airgas drivers, who logged more than 80 million miles delivering products to their customers, earned the Compressed Gas Association (CGA) Bulk Fleet Safety Award. CGA also honored the innovations of two associates who together developed a mobile laboratory that is capable of remotely sampling and identifying unknown contents of stockpiled cylinders. In 2009 the CGA awarded the Bulk Fleet Safety Award and the Cylinder Fleet Safety Award to Airgas drivers, now more than 5,000 strong, and further recognized the company with their Environmental Recognition Program Award for green practices at Airgas hardgoods distribution centers.

Members of the Gillette, Wyoming, branch

The Gillette, Wyoming, branch earned the 2005 Large Branch of the Year award for excellence.