AWO presents inaugural safety award to CITGO

(LAKE CHARLES, La.) — The American Waterways Operators' Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee has presented AWO affiliate member CITGO Petroleum Corp.'s Lake Charles, La., Marine Department and facility with the subcommittee's inaugural safety award. The department received this award in recognition of its industry-leading commitment to workplace safety, demonstrated by its requirement that the dock operator be present while someone is transiting the gangway from the facility to a vessel. This practice ensures the safety the individual utilizing the gangway through close visual observation.

The award was presented virtually to accommodate COVID-19 safety precautions in place at CITGO and across the tugboat, towboat and barge industry. Representatives on hand for the presentation included Carlos Jorda, president and CEO, CITGO Petroleum Corp.; Jennifer Carpenter, president and CEO, American Waterways Operators; Matt Lagarde, assistant vice president, Ingram Barge Co. and chairman of the AWO Interregion Safety Committee; and
Jim Fletcher, owner/president, Team Services LLC and chairman of the AWO Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee. 

The video of the award presentation can be found here.

"All of us at CITGO are extremely proud to be named the inaugural recipient of AWO's safety award," said Jorda. "Safety is our top priority, and this prestigious award is a testament to the dedication and professionalism of the CITGO Lake Charles Marine Department."

"AWO is proud of the work that the Tankering & Barge Operations Subcommittee is doing to raise awareness of best practices in maritime safety," Carpenter said. "The subcommittee has identified safe access/egress at the vessel-to-facility interface as a serious safety issue, and CITGO's Lake Charles Marine Department richly deserves this inaugural award for its leadership in this area and for its commitment to ensuring its facility is a safe work environment."

The American Waterways Operators is the national trade association representing the tugboat, towboat and barge industry, which operates on the rivers, the Great Lakes, and along the coasts and in the harbors of the United States. Barge transportation serves the nation as the safest, most environmentally friendly and most economical mode of freight transportation. Visit

By Professional Mariner Staff