We never compromise on safety. For occupational and process safety as well as health and environmental protection and corporate security, we rely on comprehensive preventive measures as well as on the involvement of all employees and contractors. Our global safety and security concepts serve to protect our employees, contractors and neighbors as well as to prevent property damage and protect information and company assets. In this way, we help prevent injury, production outages and environmental damage.
- Global safety standards
- Strengthening risk awareness
We have set ourselves ambitious goals for occupational and process safety as well as health protection. We stipulate globally mandatory standards for safety, security and health protection. A worldwide network of experts supports us in their implementation. Tried-and-true processes and solutions are documented and made globally available through networks and structured exchange. We regularly conduct audits on safety, security, health and environmental protection in order to monitor progress toward our goals. Risk-conscious working behavior is promoted for every individual through measures like systematic hazard assessments, specific qualification measures and global safety initiatives. Based on our corporate values, leaders serve as safety role models for our employees. Together, they contribute to the constant development of our safety culture.
Global safety initiative
- Process safety and information protection at Global Safety Days
With our global safety initiative begun in 2008, we have created the conditions necessary for the continuous development of a safety culture. Process safety and information protection were the main theme of our 2016 Global Safety Days, carried out in more than 860 activities at around 350 sites. Topics included product spillage prevention; reducing environmental, health and safety hazard potential; and proper conduct in handling sensitive information. More than 75,000 employees and contractors around the world took active part. This commitment and vigorous exchange make a major contribution to our safety culture. At the Ludwigshafen site, employees and contractors can obtain continuous further education on diverse safety and security topics at our training center. The training center was opened as part of our 2010 safety initiative; more than 19,000 participants received training there in 2016.
- Employees and contractors worldwide instructed on safe behavior
- Fire at North Harbor in Ludwigshafen
We have made it our goal to reduce the worldwide lost-time injury rate per one million working hours to 0.5 at most by 2025. To this end, we promote risk-conscious behavior and safe working practices for every individual, particularly through regular communication, systematic risk assessments, specific qualification measures and our worldwide safety initiatives.
We recorded around 118,000 enrollments in occupational safety training courses worldwide in 2016. These seminars comprise not only legally stipulated instructions, but also courses on safe procedures to strengthen our employees’ risk-aware behavior and prevent work-related accidents.
Reduction of worldwide lost-time injury rate
per one million working hours
In 2016, 1.4 work-related accidents per one million working hours occurred at BASF sites worldwide (2015: 1.4), raising the rate of chemical-related accidents to 9% (2015: 8%). The rate of work-related accidents per one million working hours for contractors was at 1.5 in 2016 (2015: 1.41). Unfortunately, there were four incidents in 2016 with a total of seven fatalities (2015: two fatal work-related accidents). BASF is performing a comprehensive analysis of the incidents and using the findings to derive appropriate measures.
During maintenance work in Camaçari, Brazil, an employee of a crane company suffered fatal injuries when the crane he was operating tipped over. In May, an employee of an external company hired by BASF to perform maintenance work in Yeosu, South Korea, died from the effects of phosgene exposure. The cause of the accident was investigated by BASF and the relevant Korean authorities. In February 2017, the court responsible for the case ruled that the accident was attributable to carelessness on the part of individual employees. Although the court did not identify any technical or process defects, a small monetary penalty was nevertheless imposed on BASF. After the accident, BASF reviewed the safety measures and processes at all of its isocyanate production sites worldwide and once again clarified these to employees. An employee of a subcontractor succumbed to his injuries after falling through a roof opening in Kuan Yin, Taiwan, in July.
In October, three employees of the BASF fire department lost their lives in an accident at the North Harbor of the Ludwigshafen site, along with one barge crewman on a tanker moored in the harbor. BASF had contracted a specialist company for pipeline construction to perform scheduled preventive maintenance on an emptied and secured propylene line at the North Harbor. Several pipeline sections were to be replaced. A fire broke out during the work, leading to an explosion and ensuing fires in other pipelines. Six of the severely injured were discharged from the hospital in December; another was kept in the hospital for inpatient treatment. Light injuries were sustained by 22 people in the accident. The district attorney’s office of the city of Frankenthal is investigating the accident. BASF is supporting assessors and authorities in their inspections and has also hired an independent expert to analyze the causes of the accident.
1 The 2015 figure was adjusted to reflect a revised hour-counting method for contractors in Asia.
- Focus in 2016: heart attack and stroke prevention
- Global standards for occupational medicine and health protection
Our worldwide standards for occupational medicine and health protection are specified in a directive that is implemented by a global network of experts. Our global health management serves to promote and maintain the health and productivity of our employees. This was supported by numerous emergency drills and health promotion measures in 2016.
We measure our performance in health protection using the Health Performance Index (HPI). The HPI comprises ﬁve components: conﬁrmed occupational diseases, medical emergency drills, ﬁrst aid, preventive medicine and health promotion. Each component contributes a maximum of 0.2 to the total score. The highest possible score is 1.0. Our goal is to reach a value of more than 0.9 every year.
With an HPI of 0.96, we were once again able to fulﬁll the ambitious goal of exceeding 0.9 each year (2015: 0.97). Our 2016 global health campaign for employees centered on heart attack and stroke prevention. To obtain a self-evaluation of their heart’s age and their risk of heart attack and stroke, our employees filled out around 32,000 questionnaires worldwide. The offer included personal recommendations for individual risk factors and contact with a physician in the case of increased risk.
Health Performance Index Maximum score 1.0
Our 2017 global health campaign will focus on the lungs and respiratory system. We raise employee awareness of these topics through offers tailored toward specific target groups.
The BASF health checks form the foundation of our global health promotion program and are offered to employees at regular intervals.
- Expanded initiative for reducing process safety incidents
- Enhanced training methods
We use the number of process safety incidents as a key performance indicator, following to a large extent the deﬁnition set by the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). In 2016, we recorded 2.0 process safety incidents per one million working hours worldwide (2015: 2.1). We pursue continual improvement by investigating every incident in detail, analyzing root causes and using the ﬁndings to derive suitable measures. We set ourselves the goal of reducing process safety incidents to a rate of no more than 0.5 per one million working hours by 2025.
Reduction of worldwide process safety incidents
per one million working hours
To this end, we continued our worldwide initiative focusing on plant maintenance, repair and operation. This initiative produced a catalog of successful practices for preventing process safety incidents that has been available in several languages to all production plants worldwide since 2016.
Our globally implemented management system for process safety provides the framework for the safe construction and operation of our plants as well as the protection of people and the environment. Our experts have developed a protection plan for every plant that considers the key aspects of safety, health and environmental protection – from conception to startup – and stipulates specific protection measures for each. We continued to review this management system in all regions in 2016.
In order to maintain the highest level of safety at our plants across their entire life cycle, we review the implementation of our protection plans in all facilities at regular intervals and depending on hazard potential. We use globally standardized software to track these safety assessments. One module of this program – already used in many of our plants – checks the timely implementation of stipulated measures, supporting our employees in production. We supplemented this in 2016 by updating a global recommendation for prioritizing safety measures.
To strengthen risk awareness, we enhanced our training methods, introduced global recommendations for training measures and instructed around 13,000 course participants.
- Regular review of emergency systems
- Global qualification program for emergency response teams
In order to ensure uniformly high standards around the world for safety, security, health and environmental protection, we continued to implement our requirements for emergency response planning and ﬁre prevention in the BASF Group in 2016. We work, for example, with site-specific emergency response plans and actively involve situation-related partners and suppliers as well as cities, communities and neighboring companies.
We regularly check our emergency systems and drill procedures with employees, contractors and local authorities. Through 173 drills and simulations in 2016, we instructed participants in our emergency response measures. One topic, for example, revolved around collaboration between production facilities and the fire department.
Through our SPIDER Emergency Response and Information Center Verbund, our specialists from the site ﬁre department, emergency medical team, site security, and environmental protection can work together quickly and reliably across different sites around Europe. Our central emergency response supports local emergency response units around the world and around the clock.
We have been using the KATWARN system at the Ludwigshafen site since 2015, an app-based warning system that serves as an additional information channel to quickly inform site employees and neighbors of dangerous situations. We are constantly improving its use.
We developed a global qualification program in 2016 to train our emergency response teams. All over the world, mentors from the BASF SE fire department support local emergency response instructors at the sites with their knowledge, contributing to safety.
- Worldwide network of information protection officers
We protect our employees, sites and company know-how against third-party interference, and establish the necessary framework worldwide with our uniform concepts. Audits enable us to check the implementation of these measures.
New online training courses are available to our employees to prepare them for travel. Business travelers, transferees, and employees in countries with elevated security risks are informed about appropriate protection measures and individually counseled where necessary. After any major incident, we now have the possibility of more quickly and accurately locating employees in the affected regions through a travel research system that was globally standardized in 2016.
Aspects of human rights related to site security, such as the right to liberty and security of person, are a component of the global qualification requirements of our security personnel. Respect for human rights is a mandatory element of any contract with service providers of the BASF Group who are active in this area. Our investment projects include performing comprehensive analyses of potential risks. In 2016, we standardized the use of security services at further European sites in order to increase effectiveness and efﬁciency.
Due to the increasing risks associated with the use of information technology, a global campaign for employees is drawing attention to how we can even better protect our company knowledge. For example, a global phishing simulation further strengthened our employees’ awareness of risks. Our worldwide network of information protection ofﬁcers comprises more than 650 employees. They support the implementation of our uniform requirements and conduct seminars on secure behaviors. We provided information protection instruction to more than 27,000 participants in 2016. In addition, we published standardized Group-wide recommendations for the protection of information and knowledge.