Occupational, Plant and Transportation Safety

Bayer puts safety first and preventing accidents and incidents is a top priority – in day-to-day work, in the operation of production facilities, and on work-related travel and transportation routes where people or the environment may suffer harm or damage.

Occupational health and safety

Safeguarding the occupational health and safety of our employees, and of the employees of contractors and suppliers on our company premises and under the supervision of Bayer, is one of our core tasks. This entails preventing work-related accidents and occupational illnesses, assessing potential hazards, ensuring comprehensive risk management and creating a healthy working environment.

The basis of our reporting on occupational injuries is the Recordable Incident Rate (RIR), which covers all injuries to employees leading to medical treatment that goes beyond simple first aid. This includes injuries and occupational illnesses both with and without lost workdays. In 2018, the RIR fell to 0.39 cases per 200,000 hours worked, corresponding to 518 occupational injuries worldwide. This means that, in statistical terms, one recordable incident occurred for more than every 500,000 hours worked. Recordable injuries with lost workdays constituted 306 of the total of 518 occupational injuries, meaning that the corresponding parameter, the Lost Time Recordable Incident Rate (LTRIR), dropped to 0.24 in 2018.

Regrettably, two people lost their lives in work-related accidents in 2018. These comprised one Bayer employee and one employee of a subcontractor.

Recordable Occupational Injuries1

 

 

2017

 

2018

1

The figures include employees working for third parties whose accidents occurred on our company premises and under Bayer supervision.

2

RIR = Recordable Incident Rate

3

LTRIR = Lost Time Recordable Incident Rate

4

One Bayer employee and one employee of a subcontractor

Rate of occupational injuries (RIR2)

 

0.45

 

0.39

Rate of occupational injuries with lost workdays (LTRIR3)

 

0.28

 

0.24

Fatal injuries4

 

0

 

2

Occupational illnesses

Occupational illnesses are included in the parameters RIR and LTRIR, regardless of whether or not they are listed in national registers of occupational diseases. As lists of occupational diseases are not globally standardized and in many countries do not exist at all, we document all occupational illnesses, provided they have been diagnosed and recognized by a physician. In 2018, 34 new cases of occupational illnesses were reported throughout the Bayer Group. These were related to the musculoskeletal system and heat-related illnesses resulting from work outdoors, among other issues.

Rate of Occupational Injuries (RIR) by Region1

 

 

2017

 

2018

1

The figures include employees working for third parties whose accidents occurred on our company premises and under Bayer supervision.

Europe / Middle East / Africa

 

0.54

 

0.45

North America

 

0.70

 

0.71

Asia / Pacific

 

0.17

 

0.15

Latin America

 

0.54

 

0.28

Total

 

0.45

 

0.39

Workplaces at Bayer are regularly subject to a health-related risk assessment and a hazard analysis on a comprehensive basis. These analyses are used to derive measures that, in conjunction with targeted studies, are designed to prevent occupational illnesses. Alongside the country-specific regulations on mandatory examinations, we offer our employees regular medical examinations – in some cases on a mandatory basis – in all countries in which this is legally permissible. The focus here is on the risks that exist at each workplace.

In 2018, as in previous years, we hardly recorded any accidents (less than 3.0%) involving contact with chemicals. A significant proportion of the accidents and injuries suffered by our employees have behavior-linked causes. Our Behavioral Safety Program is addressing this challenge with suitable training measures. More than 12,000 employees have been trained at 139 sites worldwide since 2015. Significant behavioral improvements were achieved in areas in which the program has already been implemented, and the Recordable Incident Rate is therefore expected to decline across the Bayer Group in the medium term. The initiative is to be extended to the sites of the acquired agriculture business from 2019.

Process and plant safety

We aim to design and operate our processes and production facilities in such a way that they do not pose any inappropriate risks to employees, the environment or neighboring communities. Therefore, we are continually working to further develop the safety culture, the expertise of employees and the globally applicable corporate policies on process and plant safety, which prescribe uniform processes and standards for identifying risks and establishing safety measures, thus ensuring a comparable safety level at all production sites. Compliance with internal and external safety regulations is verified in internal audits.

The statements on and indicators for process and plant safety in this Annual Report also apply to the acquired agriculture business. The detailed harmonization of the systems will be implemented in the years ahead.

Our experts systematically identify the process risks in the production facilities and develop robust protective concepts that consider health, safety and environmental aspects. We validate these safety concepts every five years to maintain the high safety level of our facilities. Technical modifications are subject to a stringent change management process. Furthermore, maintenance and inspection programs are established for the safety facilities to ensure the necessary availability and functionality in case of need. Before a new production facility is brought on stream, our safety experts verify all defined safety measures and confirm their proper implementation through plant and equipment inspections.

A globally standardized key performance indicator (KPI) – Loss of Primary Containment (LoPC material release / leakages) – is used at Bayer as an early indicator for plant safety incidents and is integrated into Group-wide safety reporting. LoPC incidents refer to the leakage of chemical substances or energy in amounts above defined thresholds from their primary containment, such as pipelines, pumps, tanks or drums. The LoPC Incident Rate (LoPC-IR) indicates the number of LoPC incidents per 200,000 hours worked. In 2018, the LoPC-IR was 0.09 (2017: 0.13). Bayer’s LoPC reporting is based on the requirements of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC), which apply uniformly throughout Europe. Starting in 2019, we will apply the reporting criteria of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and classify the release of chemical substances or energies as Process Safety Incidents (PSIs).

To prevent comparable substance and energy releases in the future, the causes of PSIs will be analyzed and relevant findings communicated appropriately throughout the Bayer Group. The reporting thresholds were intentionally set at such a low level that even material and energy leaks that have no impact on employees, neighbors or the environment are systematically recorded and reported. This preventive approach is applied so that weaknesses can be identified and corrected before a more serious incident can occur.

Rate of Plant Safety Incidents (LoPC-IR)

 

 

2017

 

2018

1

Number of LoPC incidents per 200,000 hours worked

Loss of Primary Containment Incident Rate (LoPC-IR)1

 

0.13

 

0.09

Transportation safety

Transportation and storage safety is a part of HSE management and is implemented by a network of experts and users with practical experience who cooperate across divisional and regional boundaries. Details are specified in the corporate policies “Transportation Safety” and “Health, Safety, Environment and Quality ( HSEQ stands for health, safety, environment and quality. ) Audits.” Apart from internal Bayer specifications, the international regulations of the WHO and Crop Life International also apply as standards. The acquired agriculture business has its own regulations on and processes for transportation safety that are not comparable with Bayer’s. These will still apply until Bayer’s transport and storage safety requirements have been introduced in the acquired business, starting in 2019. The qualitative information below does not yet include the acquired business. The number of transport incidents pertains to both Bayer and the acquired business.

Transportation safety plays a key role both in the transportation of our products on public routes and in loading, unloading, classification, labeling and packaging, particularly of hazardous goods. Our Procurement unit (excluding the acquired agriculture business) selects logistics partners according to strict safety, environmental and quality criteria. The implementation of our requirements ensures that the materials are handled and transported in line with applicable regulations and the potential hazard they pose. In addition to the legally required training courses for our employees, we offer special electronic training programs to convey specialist knowledge that are also accessible to our service providers.

On account of our extensive safety precautions and training activities, transport incidents are rare. These include accidents that cause personal injury or significant damage to property, environmental impact resulting from the release of substances, or leakage of hazardous goods. Such accidents are recorded in detail and assessed on the basis of defined criteria. All 10 transport incidents (including those of the acquired agriculture business) in 2018 (2017: 9) involved road transport accidents. Two of the transport incidents were also classed as environmental incidents.

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