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Covia’s Safety First Mindset Makes All the Difference

Covia’s Safety First Mindset Makes All the Difference

Published 05-02-23

Submitted by Covia

Camden “Heroes” Pictured left to right:  Scott McAlpine, David “Mikey” Douglas, Thomas “Guy” Hardin, Calvin “Lee” Bullion (cardiac arrest individual), Christopher “Chris” Hudson, Hayden Howell, William “Brady” Jackson and (not pictured Darren Birdwell and Donnie Hensley).

At Covia, Safety First is a core value that we've embedded into our culture and mindset throughout our organization. We take numerous steps to ensure that Safety and Health remains a daily and consistent focus for our Team Members, contractors, vendors, suppliers, and customers. This became particularly important when a Team Member at our Camden, Tennessee Plant recently experienced a health emergency.

The Camden Plant, approximately 80 miles west of Nashville, has a rich history, having been established in the late 1920s. It was originally an open pit, with sand hauled by truck to the processing plant. Years later it was retrofitted with an integrated steel pipeline and has since been converted to HDPE polyethylene pipe, allowing the plant to slurry and pump the material to the processing plant. Today, Camden’s pipeline is nearly eight miles long, creating complexities within the pipeline that cannot be seen externally.

The plant is home to a special group of Covia Team Members who work uniquely well together – they fondly refer to themselves as ‘family’. This plant supports our Industrial Sand segment, primarily the container, automotive, and pharmaceutical glass markets. They also support sodium silicates, fused silica, building materials, and sports & recreation.

While Team Members at Camden focus on their customers, communities, and environment, their primary focus is really on each other – and more specifically each other’s safety and well-being, as shown by their recent actions.

Aerial View of the Camden plant

Team Members were going about their day when an emergency struck. They found one of their friends, Calvin “Lee” Bullion, slumped over a steering wheel near the southwest portion of the site. Team Members jumped into action, after checking for vitals, they quickly realized he was not responsive, and called 911. Knowing they were at the furthest corner of the plant, and more than 15 minutes away from an emergency vehicle arriving, they retrieved the first-aid kit and AED. While they waited for emergency medical help to arrive, Team Members started CPR and administered shocks to restart Lee’s heart. They monitored Lee and protected him from the sun until the First Responders finally arrived and Lee was air-lifted to a local hospital specializing in cardiac issues. Covia’s heroes were applauded by the First Responders -- they had just saved their friend’s life! Today, they are happy to have their friend back at work, happy and healthy and grateful for Covia’s commitment to Life Saving Rules! Lee commented, “I am proud to share my story and grateful for the opportunity to recognize this amazing team who saved my life.”

“To say that I am proud of the Team Members involved in this life saving event is an understatement,” said Paul Alford, Camden’s Plant Manager. “I can’t overstate the importance of emergency preparedness and looking out for each other!”

For more information about Safety First at Covia, please see the 2021 ESG Report (

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At Covia, we are committed to being more than just a leading provider of high-performance mineral and material solutions – we believe that our company can make a positive difference in the world. This belief is what drives our environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy, which is influenced by both our journey as an organization and the events in the world around us.

Our commitment to operating as a responsible corporate citizen has been embedded into every aspect of our business for decades and serves as the foundation for Covia’s ESG initiatives. From our operations to our Team Members and the communities in which we live and work, we continue to define WHAT WE’RE MADE OF as more than the materials we produce, but the impact we can make in every interaction.

In 2021, we enhanced our approach toward accelerating ESG performance by developing our formal GOALS THAT INSPIRE: ESG 2030. These 10 goals, broken into our three core areas - Environmental Stewardship, Positive Social Impact and Responsible Governance & Ethics - were developed by Covia Team members across the company and are designed to drive tangible and measurable progress in areas where we can make the most impact.

We have the commitment and strategy in place to drive meaningful progress and we are pledging to make a positive differences for our people, our planet and our communities.

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