Process safety programs continue to ensure the integrity of operations and incorporate good design principles alongside best engineering and operating practices. Programs focus on preventing and controlling incidents, especially scenarios involving potential catastrophic consequences on people or the environment. Solvay's process safety management is risk-based.

Solvay deploys rules and indicators to monitor:

  1. risk analysis programs
  2. identification and mitigation of Risk Level 1 situations
  3. implementation of process safety management systems at sites
  4. incident follow-up and reporting.

Process safety monthly bulletins are widely distributed in 14 languages. They describe incidents that have occurred at Solvay sites and provide recommendations for improvement.

Risk analysis program

Solvay’s objectives:

2020

100%

of the sites with a risk analysis updated in the last five years, for every production line

The main pillar of Solvay's preventive, risk-based approach is the process risk analysis of existing, new, or modified installations. Quantified risk analysis is a best practice among industrial companies: standardized risk analysis makes it possible to quantify the risk level of every possible accident scenario, combining severity and probability factors. Risk analysis forms the backbone of risk control.

This makes it possible to identify major accident scenarios and take the necessary measures to make the level of risk acceptable. Solvay uses tiered risk analysis methods and adapts them to the level of potential hazard of every process at every GBU. Many of Solvay’s GBUs use a simplified method - called PRAMAPOR - for the section of chemicals with low potential hazards.

Completion of the risk analysis program is part of the Solvay HSE dashboard regularly reviewed by the Executive Committee.

In %

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

Scope: Manufacturing and Research and Innovation sites under operational control including recently acquired Cytec with reportings as from 2016. The consolidated data for process safety risk analysis cover 134 sites out of a total of 150 operational sites.

Percentage of concerned product lines having a risk analysis updated in the last five years

 

65

 

69

 

64

Mitigation of process safety "Level 1 Risk Sheets"

A systematic approach is used across the whole Group to efficiently identify and remediate the highest risks. Handling 100% of "Level 1 Risk Sheet" situations (situations with the highest risks) is a key element of Solvay's process safety policy, as prescribed by Solvay's "Red Line" on health, safety, and environment risk management. The Group has repeatedly succeeded in resolving all level 1 risk sheet situations within one year.

Red Lines are essential Solvay rules that must be respected to the extent that they cover issues which constitute major risks for the Group. All identified "level 1 process safety risk sheets" are validated and reported at the corporate level. Then, as defined by the Red Line, they must be mitigated within a maximum of one year.

All Level 1 Risk Sheet situations are remediated within the year.

Most level 1 risk sheets identified referred to a single site that Solvay acquired in China acquired in 2010. This site has gone through a comprehensive risk analysis program to complete the process risk analysis required by the Solvay Red Line. Many level 1 risk sheets have already been identified and mitigated in accordance with the Group’s second Red Line.

Mitigation of Process Safety (Risk Level 1)

 

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

Number of “risk sheets level 1” at the end of the year

 

46

 

94

 

217

Process safety management systems (PSM)

Solvay’s objective:

2020

100%

of sites with a process safety management system corresponding to their risk level

All Solvay industrial and R&I sites are required to develop and implement an ad hoc process safety management system (PSM). They must implement the PSM practices required by the Group and adapted to their risk level, according to a classification system defined in 2015.

In %

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: All manufacturing sites (except recently acquired Cytec sites which will be included in 2017).

Sites with required PSM practices, according to their PSM level

 

90

 

84

The systematic but tiered requirement, with three distinct PSM levels, is a good practice amongst industry peers. PSM system implementation is assessed through Solvay internal audits or observations of PSM practices by third parties.

Breakdown of sites according to their Process Safety Management (PSM) level

In %

 

2016

Sites with a PSM level 1 (Low)

 

54

Sites with a PSM level 2 (Medium)

 

34

Sites with a PSM level 3 (High)

 

11

Process safety incidents

Solvay's target is to avoid any high severity incident (H and above) and to reduce the incident rate for medium severity incidents. Solvay's incident rate (PSI rate) is consistent with the method proposed by the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA) and is benchmarkable.

The Group’s reporting on process safety incidents is improving progressively. Solvay's incident rate is average relative to its peers. The increasing trend in the number of reported PSIs reflects the increasing number of reporting sites, along the newly introduced reporting process. Based on the data and experiences shared amongst the companies taking part in the initiative by the International Chamber of Chemical Industries (ICCA), in the framework of its pilot program on PSI reporting, Solvay's reporting process appeared to be one of the best, in particular for its coverage of the different geographical regions.

In %

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

Legend: Total number of process incidents per 100 full time employee (employees and contractors, assuming 2000 hours of work / worker / year).

Process safety rate

 

0.7

 

0.6

 

0.4

Solvay has a worldwide rule for reporting process safety incidents based on a severity matrix that takes into account :

  • the consequences for people
  • for the environment
  • damages to assets and volumes of chemicals released.

Reportable incidents are classified according to severity (medium, high, and catastrophic). No catastrophic incidents have been reported since 2012.

Number of incidents classified according to severity

 

 

2016

 

2015

 

2014

Scope: Solvay group manufacturing and R&I sites under operational control. The consolidated data for process safety incident covers 132 sites out of a total of 143 operational sites, including R&I sites.

Medium

 

259

 

215

 

156

High

 

1

 

1

 

2