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 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.
In addition, 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.
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. To this end, our network of experts provides emergency response trainng programs throughout the world. For example, in recent years training courses were held in China, Indien, Malaysia and Ludwigshafen.
Global exchange programs involving our emergency response experts reinforce our network. In 2014, we were able to further expand our network in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
To enable measures of protection to be taken quickly at any site, it is important that our employees report all incidents or near-miss incidents quickly, directly and openly. We have established an electronic reporting system for these so-called "Rapid Incident Reports".
Our emergency response experts can be contacted around the clock worldwide via a network of emergency phones, and they assist the BASF Emergency Response and Information Centers (ERIC) in Florham Park, New Jersey/USA; Guaratinguetá, Brazil; Antwerp, Belgium; Schwarzheide and Ludwigshafen, Germany; Tarragona, Spain; Shanghai, China; and Kuantan, Malaysia with their expertise. In Asia, we are in the process of expanding these networks.
To help make the emergency response service in Europe even more effective and efficient, we introduced the SPIDER Emergency Response and Information Center Verbund in 2014 to create a joint technical platform for cooperation with Emergency Information Centers at selected sites. Our experts from the plant fire department, the emergency medical team, environmental monitoring and site security now work even more closely together in the Information Center Verbund than before. For the sites that are integrated into the Verbund this means, for example, that they can initiate direct emergency response measures if required and take the load off local emergency units in the event of an incident.
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.