Health and Safety
At BASF, we never compromise on safety. Our global safety and security concepts serve to protect our employees, contractors and neighbors, as well as information, company assets and the environment. For occupational and process safety as well as health and environmental protection, corporate security and emergency response, we rely on comprehensive preventive measures. In doing so, we expect the cooperation of all employees and contractors.
- Extensive chemical safety information for all people who handle the products
- Cooperation with industry partners to promote product stewardship
We review the safety of our products from research and development through production and all the way to our customers’ application. We continuously work to ensure that our products pose no risk to people or the environment when they are used responsibly and in the manner intended.
BASF provides extensive information on all our chemical sales products to our customers with safety data sheets in around 40 languages, including Chinese. It also incorporates the latest regulatory requirements in China in its product safety system to ensure its Chinese safety data sheets and product safety labels are in compliance with China’s regulatory framework.
Working closely with industry associations, academia and local authorities, BASF actively promotes product stewardship code and practices in Greater China. We have contributed our expertise in setting up a task force on product stewardship under the Responsible Care working group of the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation (CPCIF) and shared our best practices to support local companies in establishing their own product stewardship systems. As a leader in new chemical notification, we contribute our expertise and experience in developing regulations and guidelines for chemical management and food contact materials management in China. We have also been working with partners to promote computational toxicology in China. Leveraging expert resources from the Ministry of Ecology and Environment of the People's Republic of China and the China Food Safety Assessment Center, we are extending this initiative from chemical management to food safety management.
Transportation and distribution safety
- Risk minimization along the entire transportation chain
We want our products to be safely loaded, transported, handled and stored. This is why we depend on reliable logistics partners, global standards and an effective organization. Our goal is to minimize risks along the entire transportation chain - from loading and transportation to unloading at our customers’ sites. We have defined global guidelines and requirements for the storage of our products, and we regularly monitor to ensure full compliance.
We regularly assess the safety and environmental risks of transporting and storing raw materials and products with high hazard potential, using our global guidelines which are based on the guidelines set by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic). Some of them even go beyond national and international dangerous goods requirements.
We stipulate worldwide requirements for our logistics service providers (LSPs) and assess them in terms of safety and quality. In 2018, we evaluated several dozen LSPs across Greater China, using our own evaluation and monitoring tools as well as internationally approved schemes.
In addition, we systematically implement our measures to improve transportation safety and report, in particular, on goods spillages that could lead to significant environmental impact.
- Regular review of plant protection plans and performance of safety inspections and safety-related measures
- Global initiatives to reduce process safety incidents
BASF’s global process safety standards provide the framework for the safe planning, construction and operation of the 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 conceptualization to startup – and stipulated specific protection measures for each.
To maintain the highest level of safety at plants across their entire life cycle, BASF reviews the implementation of the protection plan in all facilities at regular intervals according to risk potential, as well as the on-time performance of the required safety inspections and any resulting safety-related measures. In 2018, we introduced Stature Software at all sites in Greater China to record plant safety concepts and implementation checks, so that all actions are tracked and related documents are kept despite personnel changes.
In 2018, BASF adapted its global reporting on accidents and process safety incidents, using the number of process safety incidents per 200,000 working hours as a key performance indicator. Globally, we have set ourselves the goal of reducing process safety incidents to a rate of no more than 0.1 per 200,000 working hours by 2025. In Greater China, we continue to improve process safety by investigating incident in detail, analyzing root causes and using the findings to derive suitable measures.
 The 2018 adaptation follows the recommendations of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI).
- Regular review of emergency response systems in case of incidents
- Cooperation with industry associations and local authorities to share best practices
BASF prepares rigorously for incidents and crises. In the event of an incident, our global, regional or local emergency response plans and crisis management mechanism will be triggered, depending on the scope of the incident. In Greater China, we regularly perform fire prevention inspections at all sites, review emergency response plans and hold emergency drills.
BASF continues to work with CPCIF and the Association of International Chemical Manufacturers (AICM) to share our emergency response experience with other members through workshops, and to support local authorities in improving their own emergency response expertise.
- Comprehensive protection measures against third-party interference
- Enhanced risk awareness among employees
We analyze potential safety and security risks associated with investment projects and strategic plans and define appropriate safety and security concepts. Our guiding principle is to identify risks for the company at an early stage, assess them properly and derive appropriate safeguards.
BASF protects its employees, sites and company knowledge against third-party interference. This includes, for example, potential terrorist risks in the communities surrounding our production sites and addressing the issue of cybersecurity. BASF has a comprehensive program in place to continually improve its ability to prevent, detect and react to cybersecurity incidents as technology advances. By establishing a global Cyber Security Defense Center, BASF has made its cybersecurity experts available around the clock, including to teams in Greater China.
We work to sensitize all employees about protecting information and our know-how. In 2018, we provided a range of information protection training sessions to increase our employees’ awareness about this topic.
We inform our business travelers and transferees to and from Greater China about appropriate protection measures prior to and during travel in countries with elevated security risks. After any major incident such as a terrorist attack or a natural catastrophe, we can use a standardized global travel tracking system to locate and contact employees in the affected regions.
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 in Greater China.
- Global standards for corporate occupational health management
- 2018 global Health Campaign focusing on cardiopulmonary resuscitation
Our global corporate health management serves to promote and maintain the health and productivity of our employees. Our worldwide standards for occupational health are specified in a directive that is implemented by a global network of experts. This was once again supported by numerous emergency drills and health promotion measures in 2018.
BASF’s 2018 Global Health Campaign focused on cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). CPR significantly increases a person’s chances of survival in case of a cardiac arrest. We therefore briefed our employees about the issue, with the ultimate aim of increasing the rate of CPR initiated by laypersons. In Greater China, the Health Campaign took place at almost all production sites and offices in the form of videos, lectures and hands-on practice.
We also carried out a Chemical Health Risk Assessment Program covering all chemicals at production areas in 2018 as a complement to the regular employee health checks and chemical management at the workplace.
In 2018, BASF audited several sites with respect to occupational health in Greater China. In addition, health performance control visits were conducted at sites with low to medium health risks.
- Global standards for safety at all sites
- Strengthening risk awareness among employees
The safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the public is our top priority: we never compromise on safety. For this reason, we have set ourselves ambitious goals for occupational safety, and regularly monitor progress toward our goals with a set of comprehensive preventive measures.
To prevent work-related accidents, BASF promotes risk-conscious behavior and safe working practices for every individual by learning from incidents and regular exchange of experiences. We are constantly refining and enhancing our requirements. In 2018, complementary training sessions on safe procedures were held to strengthen risk awareness among employees and contractors and to prevent work-related accidents.
Guided by the global safety initiative, BASF has been cultivating a safety culture through various campaigns. The 2018 Global Safety Days, held under the theme “Understand risk, take action”, aimed to enable participants to identify and eliminate threats before they become a danger. Around 7,600 employees and contractors participated in the campaign worldwidein Greater China.
Since 2018, we have adapted our incident reporting and goals according to the recommendations of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA), the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) and the German Chemicals Industry Association (VCI), and combined the hours of BASF employees, leased personnel and contractors. Our aim is to reduce the worldwide lost-time injury rate to no more than 0.1 per 200,000 working hours by 2025. In 2018, 0.06 work-related accidents per 200,000 working hours and no fatality occurred at BASF sites in Greater China.
 Hours worked by BASF employees, leased personnel and contractors. Previously, we reported worldwide on the number of lost-time injuries per one million working hours. In 2017, the lost-time injury rate per million working hours at BASF sites in Greater China was 0.3, while the rate for contractors was 0.5 in 2017. The restated figure for work-related accidents for 2017, according to the new definition, is 0.06 per 200,000 working hours.
Promoting Responsible Care® in Greater China
- Global directives and standards for safety, security, health and environmental protection
- Continuous implementation of Responsible Care in Greater China
Responsible Care® is the global chemical industry’s environmental, health, safety and security performance initiative. BASF is a long-standing member. We have set up a Responsible Care Management System to systematically address risks, which is comprehensively implemented in Greater China. This system comprises global directives, standards and procedures for safety, security, health and environmental protection for the various stations along our value chain. Our regulations cover the transportation of raw materials, activities at our sites and warehouses, and distribution of our products as well as our customers’ application of the products.
In Greater China, BASF actively promotes the Responsible Care concept among its value chain partners, including customers and raw material suppliers. We introduce tools such as self-assessments for continuous improvement and gate checks for all trucks before entering and leaving chemical production and storage facilities.
As an active member of CPCIF since 2013, we have taken a leading role in supporting regulatory advocacy, communication and emergency response. For example, in 2018, we held a CPCIF Emergency Response workshop in Shanghai. We also chaired the emergency response sub-committee of AICM and organized two workshops to share best practices among member companies. We foster further cooperation within China’s Transport Accident Information and Emergency Response System. We have also been cooperating with Ministry of Emergency Management of the People’s Republic of China to support emergency management in China, especially on building national training bases for emergency rescue in chemical incidents.
BASF is also one of the key contributors to China’s new “Regulation Concerning on Dangerous Goods Road Transportation” (JT/T 617), which has been effective since December 2018. We worked together with the National Road Transport Service Alliance for Dangerous Goods and other companies to develop the new “Chemical road transportation safety assessment system”. The new system went live in July 2018, and has been applied by various chemical and logistics companies in China.
These efforts have been recognized by local authorities. In 2018, two sites in Jiangsu and Chongqing were awarded as Green Credit Companies by the local governments. Several sites in Shanghai received the Award of Advanced Enterprise for their excellent safety, environment, fire-fighting and security performance.