LAPLACE, La.—Denka Performance Elastomer has issued a message to reassure local communities about the safety of its activities amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The company's chloroprene rubber plant in LaPlace, formerly owned by DuPont, has been a target for activists over recent years due to concerns over levels of chloroprene in the local environment.
"During these uncertain times, we remain committed to what matters most—the safety of our employees and this community. We will not compromise safety," Denka said in a statement issued April 9.
After the virus was detected in the U.S., Denka said it implemented a crisis plan and took steps to ensure the safety of its activities.
In a separate statement issued on April 13, Denka detailed some of the ways it is working to keep employees safe.
"We continue to screen our employees for symptoms and have reduced contact between people at the facility to prevent spread of the virus," Denka said. "Like many other facilities, we have reduced personnel on site to only the essential personnel needed to operate safely while the rest of our employees continue to support the site working from home."
Both the April 9 and April 13 statement reiterated that Denka sees itself as an essential players in helping to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The synthetic rubber produced at its LaPlace plant is used to make medical gloves and respiratory equipment, as well as bandages, adhesives and other critical supplies needed by health care workers and first responders, Denka said.
"The safety and well-being of our employees and our community is now, and always has been, at the center of what we do," the company concluded.