Each year, Air Liquide invites top US truck drivers and field service technicians to compete in the Air Liquide National Field Championship, a competition held in Houston, Texas to recognise employees with superior skills and safety performance.

Air Liquide has approximately 1,000 drivers and field service technicians in the US that handle gases such as nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen and argon. Thirty-three employees of Air Liquide’s industrial merchant, electronics, healthcare, and specialty gases business lines qualified to compete in the 2012 Air Liquide National Field Championship, held from October 15th to 18th, in Houston, Texas.

“At Air Liquide, safety is our first priority every minute of every day. We strive for zero accidents,” said Mark Lostak, president of Air Liquide Industrial U.S. LP. “Our drivers and field service technicians competing this week exemplify that ambition. They are undisputed safety leaders, widely respected and admired for their safety performance. I congratulate each of them for their success at Air Liquide, and I thank them for their outstanding leadership and commitment to safety.”

Participants in the 2012 Air Liquide National Field Championship competed in three categories: the bulk driver category, the cylinder driver category, and field service technician category. Each participant completed challenging written, verbal and performance assessments.

The winners were announced during an awards banquet held on Thursday, October 18th, in Houston, Texas. Kurt McKeone from Albany, New York won first place in the bulk driver category. David Miller of Tulsa, Oklahoma won first place in the cylinder driver category, and Eduardo Hernandez of Santa Fe Springs, California won first place in the field service technician category.

In his comments to drivers, family members and Air Liquide leaders in attendance at the awards banquet, Michael Graff, president & CEO of American Air Liquide Holdings, Inc. stated: “Safety is our first priority at Air Liquide. I commend each of our drivers and field service technicians for their superb performance this week, dedication to customer service, and demonstrated leadership in safety and reliability every day on the job.”