Safety, Environmental and Social Responsibility

In recognition of the best safety record among large fleets in both the Bulk and Cylinder Vehicle categories, Airgas received the top fleet safety awards from the Compressed Gas Association (CGA), the CGA Fleet Safety Excellence Awards for Cylinder Vehicle (over 3 million miles) and Bulk Vehicle Fleet (over 20 million miles) for 2012. Airgas has one of the largest bulk gas fleets and the largest cylinder gas fleet among CGA members and is now a four-time winner of the CGA Bulk Gas Transportation award and a six-time winner of the CGA Cylinder Gas Transportation award. It was the fourth straight year Airgas was presented with the award for cylinder vehicles. With over 5,000 vehicles in our distribution fleet travelling over 128 million miles, Airgas continues to have one of the lowest fleet accident rates of any large fleet in the industry.

Fleet Safety Statistics

Calendar
Year
Fleet Vehicle Accident
Frequency Rate*
Preventable Vehicle Accident
Frequency Rate*
  2008
3.0
1.6
  2009
2.8
1.5
  2010
3.2
1.4
  2011
3.0
1.4
  2012
2.9
1.4
*accidents per million miles driven

Personal Safety Statistics

Safety is a priority in all of our operations. Airgas believes that Safety is every Associate's responsibility and is very proud of our Safety track record.

Calendar
Year
Total Recordable
Injury Incident Rate*

Lost Workday Incident Rate*
  2008
2.7
0.4
  2009
2.5
0.5
  2010
2.5
0.5
  2011
2.3
0.5
  2012
2.0
0.4
* per 200,000 hours worked

Environmental Responsibility

Operation and fleet:

  • We've improved our overall fleet fuel efficiency in the last four years by over 4.5%, saving almost 900,000 gallons of fuel this past year alone and reducing CO2 emissions by over 9,000 metric tons — the equivalent emission reduction of taking about 1,900 passenger cars off the road.
  • We've added even more diesel-engine trucks with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) technology, bringing us up to 1672 units in our fleet today, with another 166 ordered or being delivered, a 40% increase since last year. By using Airgas' own AiRx Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF) in the SCR-equipped trucks we reduce diesel exhaust pollutants by breaking down harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) into inert nitrogen and water, reducing each vehicle's NOx emissions by as much as 90%.
  • We introduced Airgas Refrigatron™, an automated refrigerant reclamation technology for large-scale reclamation of used refrigerant gases. The first system has been installed at our Airgas Refrigerants, Inc. Smyrna, GA plant. With the help of this system, which analyzes up to 32 impurities, provides safe material handling, and improves operating efficiency, we were able to reclaim refrigerant returned from our customers totaling over 1.6 million metric tons of CO2 (equivalent) this past year, potential emissions equivalent to the CO2 emissions from the electricity use of almost 250,000 homes for a year.

Products and services:

  • Helium is used in critical applications in the US and globally, but has been in short supply for the last couple of years. We've diligently worked with our customers on conservation of this scarce natural resource by offering a complete review of their gas delivery systems and processes, saving them up to 25% of their helium usage through elimination of leaks; improving standard operating procedures and non-process applications; and analyzing benefits from the possible use of alternative gases, like changing the carrier gas used for their gas chromatographs, or changing the shielding gas for certain welding applications.

Social Responsibility

Airgas reaffirmed its financial commitment for an additional two years to Operation Homefront, a charity that supports America's service members by providing emergency assistance and support to families of deployed service members and to those returning home wounded. Airgas associates nationwide continue to enthusiastically support Operation Homefront through involvement in local chapter activities and fundraisers. Airgas associates have embraced Operation Homefront since the very beginning of our relationship in 2008. They have become involved in local events and fundraisers, from bake sales, food drives, and 5K walks to raffles and even recycling aluminum can pull tabs, efforts that add even more to our connection with Operation Homefront.

Since 2008, Airgas has hired more than 400 veterans, far exceeding our initial goal of 100, because we have found they uniquely fit our Airgas family values and ethics. We continue to offer "Welding 101" training to any veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan service who is interested in exploring a career in welding.

After learning from Hurricane Irene in 2011, and updating our disaster plans accordingly, Airgas was ready for Hurricane Sandy, stockpiling gases and dry ice, with personnel ready in the hurricane zone to navigate our trucks through the severe weather, roadblocks and detours, answering calls for critical supplies, like medical oxygen cylinders for hospitals running low on this life-sustaining gas or dry ice to power companies and people caught in weeks-long power outages. We were able to deliver National Oxygen Kits to disaster response sites set up by FEMA and states. Each kit provided a ready-to-use, emergency-kit-on-wheels, containing 81 oxygen cylinders, 150 oxygen masks, and the necessary tubing and regulators. Over one million pounds of dry ice were delivered to Con Edison in New York for distribution to their customers without power.

This year, our associates received over 420,000 hours of Training and Learning Development (>190,000 course sessions) to enhance their safety, their service to customers, and their skills and ability to make even greater contributions to the company. We also offer extended product training through Airgas University to our customers who can now utilize our on-line training for their own employees 24/7, providing them with quality training and more flexibility with scheduling.