Acting responsibly according to the guidelines of Responsible Care is a long-term investment for BASF to continuously improve our environmental, health and safety performance and to monitor this progress. Regular environmental, health and safety audits at all of our sites worldwide help us to accomplish this objective.

Audits are a key tool in the effort to make our sites and plants even safer. They help make us a trustworthy partner for employees, neighbors, customers, and public authorities.

On behalf of the Board of Executive Directors, experts for safety, environment and occupational medicine monitor all of our sites and plants. Using clearly defined criteria, audits help to track how our standards are implemented locally. Safety and environmental audits and occupational medicine audits are conducted separately at all BASF sites and majority-owned subsidiaries. The results of these audits are then tallied, giving a standardized and comprehensive performance profile for every site.

Amongst other things our auditors review the condition of personal protective equipment.

Scrutinizing our performance

When performing their audits, our international audit teams begin by assessing the performance of a site or plant to protect the environment and ensure health and safety. This performance assessment ranges from occupational/medical safety to the effectiveness of the site´s organizational structure. In addition, the individual safety practices and the ergonomics of the workplace are evaluated. Next, an audit then produces an assessment of the hazard potential or health risk at a facility. The numeric risk potential at a facility is based upon the materials handled, the nature of the chemical processes and the site´s immediate surroundings.

Regular audits help ensure uniform standards of excellence within the BASF Group for environmental protection, ergonomics, industrial hygiene, process safety, security, and employee health and safety. We carry out audits at all BASF sites and at companies in which BASF is a majority shareholder. We have defined our rules for Responsible Care audits in a global Group directive. During our audits, we create an environmental, safety and security profile which shows whether our performance with regard to environment, safety and security is sufficient to properly address the existing hazard potential at a facility. If this is not the case, we agree on corrective actions and conduct follow-up audits on their implementation soon thereafter.

The risk matrix is the key

In order to determine whether a site’s environmental, safety or health performance is adequate, the audit results are illustrated by means of a risk matrix. Audit results depicted on this matrix clearly show whether and how urgently corrective action needs to be taken. Corrective actions range from on-the-spot improvements to longer-term projects. Once the audit has been completed, the auditors consult with site leadership, advising them on how to address the recommendations and ascertaining whether these actions have been carried out appropriately. If the auditors identify an elevated level of risk at a plant, follow-up audits are arranged to monitor whether the measures are being addressed and/or enforced.