Our global process safety standards provide the framework for the safe construction and operation of our plants as well as for the protection of people and the environment.
The BASF Responsible Care Management System comprises the global directives, standards and procedures for environmental and health protection and safety and security for various stations along our value chain. We constantly supplement or update these and regularly check their implementation in audits. Our global binding standards regarding process safety regulate the safe design, construction and operation of our plants and define the use of specific methods and procedures for the individual elements of process safety.
Our experts identify and assess possible risks during the design process of new plants, in periodic reviews during the operation of existing plants and when plant or recipes changes are performed. They have developed a protection plan for every plant that considers the key aspects of environmental and health protection and safety and stipulates specific protection measures for each where necessary.
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 periodically perform in-depth audits of our plants and update their safety concepts where necessary.
To foster compliance with our global uniform safety standards, we give a high priority to the practice-oriented training of our employees. The main focus here is on prevention. We defined global recommendations for qualification measures concerning process safety. In addition, we introduced further training methods, such as a case study on the construction and start-up of a plant. Our training methods are constantly refined and enhanced to increase risk awareness.
Process safety is also a particular focus of our Global Safety Initiative. We demonstrate, for example, the critical importance of the timely identification of potential hazards and the correct assessment of the consequences of unsafe actions for the safe operation of plants.
We play an active role in improving process safety around the world in a global network of experts, through our involvement in organizations such as the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) and the European Process Safety Centre (EPSC), and by fostering dialogue with government institutions.
We are working on increasing the availability of our plants and determining the optimum point in time for maintenance measures. The aim is to further reduce unscheduled shut-downs with a digitalization pilot project. Implementation began in 2017, starting with the steam cracker in Ludwigshafen, Germany; other plants at the following sites: Ludwigshafen, Germany; Antwerp, Belgium; Schwarzheide, Germany; Port Arthur, Texas; Geismar, Louisiana; Freeport, Texas. We also plan to implement this at further plants around the world.