ALTANA has defined key performance indicators for accidents and has implemented a corresponding system for mandatory regular data collection. Our goal is to be a permanently accident-free company.
To achieve this, we primarily focus on employee behavior, because this approach can now achieve more for occupational safety than technical options.
Most occupational accidents are the result of human error, including the improper use of machines and tools, failure to wear, or improper wearing, of protective clothing, undue haste, or stumbling. This makes constant reminders about proper
behavior all the more important, and we use approaches such as Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) that are rooted in the analysis of behavior with the goal of correcting unsafe behavior by positive intervention.
“5S” introduces greater order
The term stands for clearly defined measures to design workplaces and their surroundings in a safe, clean, and clearly structured way. This can, for example, be visualized with images (before/after) in workplaces. All companies working with this method saw improvements in the level of safety, order, and cleanliness.
Enhanced safety with modern technology
At ELANTAS Italia in Quattordio, technical measures were able to achieve advances in safety. With an investment of almost € 700,000, the plant separated the production of primary and secondary insulation materials, which involved an almost completely new construction of the secondary insulation materials unit and the installation of an automatic fire extinguishing system (water/foam). In addition, we auto mated the pallet and filling station, which resulted in considerable ergonomic improvements and lower air pollution from solvents (VOC) in the building. New filters with improved handling also contributed to ergonomic enhancements and a new lifting stage for € 40,000 made working at large heights quicker and safer.
We invested € 18,000 in a magnet-coupled gear pump for handling toxic materials, which reliably prevents material leaks and the associated air pollution.
As an added benefit, the new pump only uses a third of the energy compared to the old model. The continuous infrared measurement of the VOC concentration in the exhaust air system (thermal afterburning) has brought additional safety and energy efficiency, while the € 8,00 investment in monitoring limit values has reduced explosion risks and regulates the exhaust air speed on the basis of the measuring data while saving fan energy.
At ELANTAS Beck in Hamburg, “5S” is part of an even more comprehensive "Excellence Team Program" (ETP) for the general improvement of safety, organization, quality, and service awareness. A number of different project teams are working to optimize technical resources, workplace equipment, and
preventive health services.
ELANTAS Beck India has had a very good safety record for years (accident-free). This is due to many programs that strengthen the culture of safety at the company.
To give an example, the Indian National Safety Day of March 4 prompted an entire safety week with fire drills, posters, information booths, quizzes, and writing contests. The purpose was to not only inform the employees about the “zero accidents” policy of the company, but to actively involve them in the effort. Thus, the team of the Pimpri plant entered into a full commitment to greater safety, and the management issued certificates and awards for a number of contests.
ELANTAS Beck India featured a safe-driving course to discuss important principles for defensive driving in city traffic and other heavily used traffic zones. The company also organized safe driving courses for suppliers and logistics companies handling their final products and distributed checklists to all drivers about proper ways to secure cargo.
Clamping down on speeding
The “Safe Driving” campaign at ECKART in Güntersthal was part of the “Risiko raus” (Out with Risks) initiative to improve safety on the works premises. Some 2,000 vehicle movements are counted on the premises every day and speed controls between 2006 and 2009 showed that 30 to 40 percent of drivers exceeded a speed of 35 km/h, although the speed limit is 30 km/h. This prompted speed readings from 2010 and speeders are now informed about their misconduct. Traffic guidelines were integrated into the plant’s management system in 2011. From now on, speeding will have direct consequences for employees, including a report to the HR office. Those found to drive speeds of 35 to 45 km/h will get an exhortation, while speeds over 45 km/h result in fines amounting to one percent of the employee’s salary.
Number of significant accidents increased
Regretfully, ALTANA recorded six significant incidents (as defined by VCI) in 2011 (see also page 66). We therefore plan to conduct internal one-day training sessions worldwide on the issue of industrial incidents in 2012 and 2013 with the respons ible executives and EHS managers (see also page 29).
The events will address specific risks for ALTANA, strategies to avoid incidents, and proper responses in emergencies (e.g. development of an emergency plan with the corresponding training). Another training emphasis will be on internal and external communication and its management in emergencies.
At BYK-Chemie, a project to improve emergency management was initiated with the help of external consultants. It will be completed by the end of 2012 and may serve as a Best Practice example for all Divisions. “Safety on the Job” is another initiative within the scope of the ALTANA Management Development Program (MDP) that aims to find Best Practice examples within ALTANA and in other companies to improve occupational and process safety. Plans call for finding, evaluating and proposing such practices as recommendations or standards by the end of 2012.
Fewer accidents with BBS
Behavior-Based Safety (BBS) is another promising method, which was introduced with very positive results at ELANTAS Italia in Ascoli Piceno and is now also in use at ACTEGA Rhenania. The program focuses on ergonomics, work structure, equipment operation, protective gear, as well as order and
cleanliness. BBS was begun in the fall of 2010 with the training of twelve employees who monitor the daily work of all emp loyees. The collected data are evaluated statistically and discussed in a so-called competency team, which determines the necessary actions and controls their implementation. Prior to the introduction of BBS, ACTEGA Rhenania had always experienced
more than one occupational accident per year, but with BBS, the plant has remained accident-free for more than a year.