According to our company guidelines, we are committed towards people and the environment. At BASF, economic considerations do not take priority over safety and health issues and environmental protection.
Our goal is to assure that the production and use of BASF products are safe and do not pose health risks to employees, neighbors, customers, and consumers worldwide.
The Corporate Health Management Department is responsible for the management of occupational health and emergency care of BASF employees at the Ludwigshafen site, and for the coordination and auditing of occupational medicine in the BASF group companies worldwide.
An overview of the range of services available at the Corporate Health Management Department is provided on the following web pages.
In a highly specialized and technically advanced company like BASF, not everybody is expected to know everything.
Our expertise should be available to all those interested within the BASF group companies. For this reason, we have established Expert Groups as part of our "BASF Group Directive Occupational Medicine & Health Protection".
The knowledge is transferred to all inquiring BASF employees usually via telephone or in written form. Additional consultation can take place in Ludwigshafen, and in special cases, at BASF locations outside of Ludwigshafen as well. Such consultations can also take place during occupational medical audits at BASF group companies. The audits are performed by experienced physicians of the Corporate Health Management Department or by regional physicians specialized in occupational medicine. Such audits support management as well as the more than 200 physicians in the various BASF group companies to maintain our standards.
A historical document indicates that on December 3, 1866 – only one year after the founding of the company – Dr. Carl Knaps was hired as the first industrial physician at BASF. This date also marks the birth of the first occupational medical service in the chemical industry in Germany - long before legal obligations were introduced. Dr. Knaps' mission was to assure the best protection of life and health possible for BASF employees. Until this day, this plays a central and primary role in BASF’s corporate policy, as it has in the past.
Today’s Corporate Health Management Department has come a long way since the first industrial physician. The over one hundred-year experience and the continuous development of higher standards far beyond legal obligations have led to a unique know-how in the chemical industry to the benefit of the employees, neighbors, and customers.
Important milestones in the Corporate Health Management Department:
1866: Dr. Knaps, BASF’s first industrial physician is hired
1871: Dr. Ney is successor to Dr. Knaps and establishes occupational epidemiology. He produces annual reports describing the so-called "factory diseases“
1893: The BASF sanatorium in Dannenfels, the first public sanatorium in Europe, opens its doors to care for employees suffering from tuberculosis
1894: Opening of the company’s own maternal and child care center
1908: Fouding of the Industrial Toxicology Task Force
1935: Acquisition of the first two ambulances
1940: The Kohlhof Hotel close to Heidelberg is bought and transformed into a short-term physical rehabilitation and fitness center for employees
1948: Two additional emergency clinics are set up at the Ludwigshafen site
1955: Creation of a modern medical emergency service
1974: Fouding of the Commission for Handicapped Employees
1987: Installation of a biomonitoring laboratory
1989: Introduction of a databank system for the documentation of epicrises of occupational physical examinations in the chemical industry
1996: Fouding of the Health Promotion Center
1998: Introduction of the Occupational Medicine and Health Protection Program in the BASF Group
2003: Introduction of the Occupational Medicine Information and Documentation System (AMEDIS) for computerized documentation (electronic medical records) and simplified epidemiological analysis
2005: Introduction of MEPER (Medical Emergency Preparedness and Emergency Response) Initiative to continuously improve emergency medical care in all BASF sites worldwide
2008: BASF has received the “Fit for the Future” special prize from the European Commission and the German Federal Insurance Association (BKK).
Occupational medicine in Germany is based upon legal regulations as well as the regulations of the Institution for Statutory Insurance (Berufsgenossenschaft).
In addition, BASF has joined Responsible Care®, a voluntary initiative of the chemical industry (1985), as well as the Luxembourg Declaration on Workplace Health Promotion in the European Union (1997). Furthermore, based on corporate guidelines and internal agreements between employer and works council, BASF guarantees its employees additional preventive measures and medical services.
The "Occupational Medicine and Health Protection Program in the BASF Group" is the fundament of preventive health care within the company and serves to introduce health awareness into BASF business processes worldwide. The program also defines performance standards and provides access to occupational and environmental medical expertise at all times through the Expert Groups.
Our goal is to promote and maintain the health, well-being and productivity of all employees. Furthermore, we wish to contribute to the safety of BASF products, that they do not pose any health risks to employees, neighbors, customers, and consumers.
Occupational Medicine and Health Protection face great challenges that come with global social, technological and organizational changes. Clear goals must be set and necessary measures must be consistently implemented in order to deliver optimal professional work under these conditions.
In this spirit, we developed the "Vision - Responsibility for Health":
We aim to realize this vision by the following measures:
In a transnational company like BASF, many specialized professional units work hand in hand to render visions into success.
In the areas of risk analysis, health protection and emergency management, we work intensively with experts in Occupational Safety, Environmental Protection, Toxicology and Product Stewardship, as well as with Human Resources, the company Health Insurance, the Fire Brigade, the specialized operating divisions and, last but not least, the works council.
In addition, the Work Protection Committee and the Working Groups "Health“ and "Health Surveillance“ work cooperatively on a regular basis. Within the “Steering Committee for Emergency Response”, an intensive exchange of expert knowledge is the prerequisite for smooth and problem-free actions.
Collaborative efforts are also put into organizing targeted preventive health campaigns, which are precisely documented and scientifically evaluated. The BASF Back Pain Project, the Early Diagnosis of Colon Cancer, and the prevention of obesity and diabetes are examples of such campaigns.
This professional cooperation is, of course, not limited to internal units of BASF. To assure continuity in acute medical care, there is a close and confiding collaboration with the hospitals and with private physicians practicing in the region.
Our commitment to research and teaching, and to numerous national and international professional committees and associations assures that we constantly have the latest specialist knowledge and opens the forum for exchanges of experiences.
Regular internal and external reporting on the activities and performance of the Corporate Health Management Department makes our work transparent thus creating an atmosphere of trust among employees and management.
The systematic documentation and processing of our medical data enable us to recognize specific types and local prevalence of diseases. In doing so, we are able to prevent illnesses at an early stage. For this reason, strictly obsersing the rules of medical confidentiality and data protection, we log all clinical visits and other examination results electronically using the AMEDIS (Occupational Medical Documentation and Information System) software, a self-developed, very successfully operating tool.
In the Corporate Health Management Annual Report, our performance, the collected findings and conclusions as well as measures taken are published. In addition, a BASF Health Report that is provided, together with other partners every year. It provides an excellent overview of the health status of BASF employees and offers a basis for planning the key aspects of our work and introducing the necessary interventions in the workplace if required.