With our global network of experts we continuously improve the management of safety through the transfer of knowledge and diversity. BASF's Responsible Care Management System, which was introduced in 2007, comprises the global directives and requirements which we constantly update.
For example, we have stipulated globally valid requirements for emergency response planning and for fire prevention in order to ensure that people, plants, buildings, and the environment have the best possible level of protection. A new requirement on emergency response planning covers all emergency response responsibilities regarding fires, chemical releases as well as natural disasters.
In addition, we implemented a directive setting out globally valid guidelines and measures for hazard prevention and response aimed at more effectively preventing health, safety and environmental hazards. These govern, among others, the organization, roles and accountabilities for emergency response and emergency response standards worldwide for the BASF Group.
A key focus of our emergency response planning is to continuously develop the personal skills of employees, which we set out as a specific requirement. We define, for example, the training required for all members of incident management teams, BASF Fire Departments and support staff. One of the ways that we implement this is through our emergency response training programs which are delivered by our network of experts globally. For example, in 2013 training courses were held in Malaysia, China and Ludwigshafen.
Global exchange programs involving our emergency response experts reinforce our network. In 2013, we were able to further expand our network in Asia and Antwerp.
All of our hazard prevention systems only work, if the employees are paying attention. Everyone at BASF is obligated to report incidents or near-incidents quickly, directly and openly. Among other things, our newly developed electronic system is available to support this. The electronic "Rapid Incident Report" enables us to take the necessary measures even faster across our sites.
The expertise of our emergency response experts is available around the clock through a global network of emergency contact numbers. In addition, BASF has already established Emergency Response and Information Centers (ERIC) to provide support services in all regions and key countries. These centers are to be found in Florham Park, New Jersey; Guaratinguetá, Brazil; Antwerp, Belgium; Schwarzheide and Ludwigshafen, Germany; Tarragona, Spain; Shanghai, China; and Kuantan, Malaysia. In Asia, we are in the process of expanding these networks.
To allow us to deliver an emergency response even more effectively and efficiently, in 2014 we implemented the SPIDER Control Center Verbund in Europe. First of all, our experts from the four specialist units - the plant fire department, emergency medical team, environmental monitoring and site security - are even more closely interlinked and secondly control centers at selected sites are connected via a joint technical platform. This means that they are able, for example, to take immediate measures at sites which are affiliated in the Verbund, thus relieving the burden on the local emergency services in the event of an incident. BASF’s SPIDER Control Center Verbund ensures that action is taken swiftly and efficiently when incidents occur.
The plant fire department at the Ludwigshafen site has now been providing support for over 100 years.
We have established Site Incident Management Teams at all major production sites worldwide. Further teams for crisis management operate at the national level in countries with major production sites and at the regional level in Europe, North America, South America and Asia Pacific. Furthermore, a global Crisis Management Support unit is also available in Ludwigshafen.
The activation of each management level depends on type and size of the incident. Those responsible at higher levels provide support to the local team. If required, teams of experts may be formed at the higher levels and dispatched to provide local support (Incident Support Teams).
In the event of a crisis, the procedures defined in BASF’s global directives for emergency response are activated.