Occupational health and safety
Fostering the health of our employees in the workplace is one of the most important goals of our health, safety, environment and quality (HSEQ) activities. Identifying and assessing potential dangers and managing the related risks are core elements of Bayer’s endeavors to protect health in the workplace. These aspects form an integral part of the HSEQ management systems at the subgroups and service companies, which include avoiding occupational health hazards, and protecting and promoting the health of employees. These processes are defined in the new Group directives on occupational health and safety which were introduced in 2009.
Worldwide, our subgroups and service groups are working to make Bayer’s workplaces even safer. The new occupational safety directive adopted in 2009 should also make a major contribution to this. It sets out actions and procedures to prevent accidents at work and investigate the causes of any accidents that nevertheless occur. The findings have to be translated into action to prevent a recurrence. At the same time, systematic and practically oriented contingency plans and precautions are designed to minimize the impact of accidents.
In 2009, we almost achieved our goal of reducing the lost time injury frequency rate to less than 2.0 injuries per million working hours (million working hour quota = MAQ) by 2010. The MAQ declined from 2.2 in 2008 to 2.0 in 2009. The ratio of reportable injuries based on Bayer’s definition also fell, namely from 3.6 to 3.1 year-on-year.
|Occupational injuries affecting Bayer employees |
|Occupational injuries to Bayer employees resulting in days lost (MAQ**)||2.7||2.8||2.4||2.2||2.0||< 2.0|
|Reportable occupational injuries to Bayer employees (MAQ**)||4.0||4.3||3.7||3.6||3.1|
|Fatal accidents (total ||4||9||4||2||4|
|of which Bayer employees||3||5||4||2||4|
|of which contractor employees***||1||4||0||0||0|
* Target to be achieved by 2010 based on 2005 figures
** MAQ = million working hour quota (injuries per million hours worked)
***Employees working for third parties
Unfortunately, Bayer employees died in four fatal accidents at our sites in Beijing, Valencia, Thailand and Leverkusen in 2009. Two of these were traffic accidents during worktime, one death resulted from an accident when a fork-lift truck overturned and a fourth involved a fall from a crane.
Bayer responds rapidly and comprehensively to accidents and identified shortcomings. Following the death of two employees as a result of an explosion at Bayer CropScience’s site in Institute, West Virginia in the United States in 2008, the company will invest US$25 million to improve safety standards at the site. One key measure comprises reducing the amount of methyl isocyanate stored at the site by 80 percent by August 2010. Improved emergency communications systems were installed in 2009.
All subgroups and service companies organize a wide range of programs to promote occupational health and safety as part of their HSEQ obligation. “Fit in Production” (FIP) is a program run by Bayer MaterialScience (BMS) to ensure that all employees worldwide receive uniform training in the correct conduct at work and in emergency situations. The occupational safety initiative run by Bayer MaterialScience at its facilities at CHEMPARK sites in Germany focuses on traffic safety, noise protection, mutual support in safety-related conduct and correct use of electrical appliances. In 2009, BMS introduced a CEO Safety Award to improve the safety of employees and working processes and raise general awareness of safety within the company. The CEO Safety Award builds on the core processes of the BMS Integrated Management System and uses the corresponding expert network as a global platform for sharing and evaluating safety programs.
Bayer HealthCare’s global accident prevention initiative “Managing Safety!” focuses on emergency response and accident prevention. As part of this program, local occupational safety initiatives have been developed and introduced at many sites. Moreover, to reduce accidents in sales organizations, a global Road Safety Initiative has been established to foster safety among members of the field force.
Bayer CropScience has set itself the goal of reducing the number of injuries resulting in days lost to no more than 1.0 per million hours worked. To achieve this, it is stepping up its occupational safety programs. The main elements are safe driving, updating workplace hazard assessments, new accident prevention campaigns and training in safe working practices. Workshops will be run at the sites to enhance awareness of the importance of occupational health.
In view of the increase in accidents at work, in 2009 Currenta introduced a long-term accident prevention program “Joining forces to improve safety.” Around 100 events, discussions, training sessions, training documents and short films are being used to achieve the three main goals of this initiative: a lasting reduction in the number of injuries, the fostering of a safety-conscious corporate culture and the implementation of a long-term health protection strategy.
Accolade for Bayer Thai
Bayer Thai’s production site in the Map Ta Phut industrial district received the Prime Minister Industry Award 2009 for its outstanding safety concept. This award is based on an evaluation of the safety training and motivation of employees, fire prevention and emergency response plans, and injury statistics for the past three years.