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Employee health and safety management encompasses occupational safety, industrial hygiene, and occupational health management. The occupational safety and hygiene of contractors working at any site under Solvay’s operational control are also covered.

0.65

MTAR*

0.65

LTAR**

1

Fatal accidents

*   Medical Treatment Accident Rate (MTAR): number of work accidents leading to medical treatment other than first aid per million working hours.

** Lost Time Accident Rate (LTAR): number of work accidents with lost time (away from work) of more than one day per million working hours.

Definition

Occupational safety is about preventing work-related injuries by providing safe working conditions. Accidents are mostly linked to falls from height, use of hazardous tools, and interaction with equipment during maintenance, as well as accidents due to non-compliance with work permits (regarding contractors).

Industrial hygiene management encompasses the assessment, monitoring, and management of workers’ exposures to dangerous conditions for health, including hazardous chemical agents, ergonomic risks, or bio-physical risks.

Beyond industrial hygiene, health at work is how Solvay promotes occupational health collectively and for each individual employee. The key components are monitoring the health of personnel and improving the workplace and the way work is organized in ways that best protect employee health. Health management relies on different indicators: chemical-exposure risk assessments, medical surveillance, incidence of occupational diseases, stress/well-being indicators, medical emergency response, and biomonitoring indicators.

Management approach

The Group is responsible for providing safe and healthy working conditions on its sites for both its employees and its contractors, and it recognizes the need for an appropriate work-life balance.

Solvay’s code of conduct

Health and safety is overseen by the Group Manager of the Industrial Function, under the supervision of Executive Committee member Vincent Decuyper. Deploying health and safety programs is the responsibility of dedicated individuals in every plant. This typically includes monitoring, following up and taking corrective actions after accidents, and managing the occupational hygiene programs.

Dedicated policies aim to:

  • Target zero occupational accidents by promoting best practices and a culture in which all employees share Solvay’s commitment to safety;
  • Achieve a high level of health and physical and psychological well-being among employees;
  • Prevent occupational diseases and disability through a high level of risk management and control;
  • Ensure periodical medical surveillance for its employees consistent with local laws and adapted to individual risk profiles obtained from industrial hygiene assessments.

Safety excellence program

158

sites with a safety management system

1,311

leadership safety visits

The Group safety excellence plan has been deployed since 2015. It pursues three key courses of action with the goal of further reducing the MTAR and preventing any high severity accident:

  • Deployment of Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) roadmaps in every unit;
  • Clear communication of management expectations;
  • Development of a safety mindset.

To prevent fatal accidents, the Group safety excellence plan has a clear focus on eight “Life Saving Rules”, one for each of the eight main dangerous activities (working at height, on powered systems, traffic, etc.). The Group requires strict compliance by every individual and full enforcement by management to save lives.

Industrial Hygiene program

The Group is reinforcing ad hoc prevention measures for workers potentially exposed to particular risks: a limited number of well-identified “operations” that may incur higher health risks due to Substances of Very High Concern (SVHC) handling conditions are mapped worldwide. The Industrial Hygiene program encompasses:

  • Solvay occupational exposure limits;
  • Critical Tasks Exposure Screening: helps sites quickly identify situations where exposure to chemicals may require special attention and additional control measures; if needed, It triggers a more detailed risk assessment to characterize potentially critical situations;
  • Global tool for industrial hygiene management (SOCRATES): Socrates gives widespread, easy Intranet access to all methods, tools and databases;
  • Comprehensive chemicals inventories at the site level, with a special focus on SVHCs with potential detrimental health impacts.

Occupational safety indicators

In September 2017, Solvay was sad to report one fatal accident that occurred in Devnya (Bulgaria) during roof repairs. The operator died as a result of a 15 m fall from height. The accident was analyzed in depth to identify causes, and triggered a new action plan on the deployment of Solvay Life Saving Rules throughout the Company.

Fatal accidents

Headcount

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: all sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety performance. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites - Solvay employees and contractors working on sites.

Solvay employees

 

0

 

0

 

0

Contractors

 

1

 

1

 

0

Solvay's 2025 priority target is a continuous improvement in Solvay employee safety, hence a reduced MTAR. This focus on the MTAR, rather than the LTAR, reflects Solvay’s attention to the actual severity of accidents, independent of the local legal context (or practices of adapted work), which influences the LTAR indicator.

  • Medical Treatment Accident Rate (MTAR): number of work accidents leading to medical treatment other than first aid per million working hours.
  • Lost Time Accident Rate (LTAR): number of work accidents with lost time (away from work) of more than one day per million working hours.

Solvay’s priority objective:

2025

0.5

Halve the number of accidents involving medical treatment to reach an MTAR of 0.5.

Baseline 2014

Occupational accidents with Medical treatment at Group sites (MTAR)

Accident per million hours worked

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: all sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety performance. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites - Solvay employees and contractors working on sites.

Solvay employees and contractors

 

0.65

 

0.77

 

0.77

Solvay employees

 

0.63

 

0.73

 

0.65

Contractors

 

0.70

 

0.86

 

0.94

Occupational accidents with lost time at Group sites (LTAR)

Accident per million hours worked

 

2017

 

2016

 

2015

Scope: all sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety performance. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites - Solvay employees and contractors working on sites.

Solvay employees and contractors

 

0.65

 

0.76

 

0.75

Solvay employees

 

0.70

 

0.69

 

0.67

Contractors

 

0.52

 

0.90

 

0.85

Despite the continuous decrease of the number of medical treatment accidents (MTAR) on its sites, high severity accidents (fatalities and life altering) do not show the same decreasing trend.

After two years without improvement, the safety performance measured by the MTAR and LTAR indicators improved significantly. Both indicators are at 0.65 in 2017, compared to 0.77 and 0.76 respectively in 2016. Results for both Solvay employees and contractors improved over the same period.

Occupational accidents: nature of injuries

 

 

2017

Scope: all sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety performance. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites - Solvay employees and contractors working on sites.

Trauma – fracture

 

23

Wound – cut

 

18

Burn – heat

 

3

Burn – chemical

 

3

Wound

 

1

Trauma

 

1

Multiple injuries

 

1

Total

 

50

40% of the injuries that occurred this year involved hands or fingers. In 2017, the Group focused on the prevention of hand injuries through best practice sharing and awareness training. As a result, the number of hand injuries reduced by 25% compared to the previous two years.

Occupational safety

Industrial hygiene indicators

Solvay uses Critical Task Exposure Screening (CTES) to efficiently pre-screen critical exposures to chemicals at the workplace. A key feature of CTES is empowering shop-floor staff to take part, resulting in better final “appropriation” of corrective measures by these employees.

Solvay’s objective:

2020

100%

of workstations, identified as potentially exposed to chemical, ergonomic or biological risks, has a systematic Critical Task Exposure Screening

A seven-year project aims to assess or reassess all workstations with Group tools, on the basis of a systematic pre-screening by CTES, by 2020. The program is now under way in 53% of all manufacturing and R&I sites, with 38% of the working units already (re)assessed. At the end of 2017, 2,357 working units had been identified as requiring CTES.

84

sites deploying the hygiene assessment program based on CTES

66%

of workstations with a CTES

6,572

employees covered by CTES

10,516

employees potentially exposed to chemical, ergonomic or biological risks

For most workstations, the preliminary assessments delivered by CTES demonstrated that working situations are definitely safe. In the remaining cases, a more detailed risk analysis focused on situations where the safety level was unclear, ultimately identifying a limited number of situations where additional, focused prevention measures needed to be taken, whether that meant technical or organizational measures, or individual protective equipment.

Health indicators

The incidence of Occupational Diseases (ODs) both reflect historical and recent working environments and industrial hygiene conditions. Recognized Occupational Diseases are classified in two categories: long-latency and short/mid-latency.

ODs recognition significantly varies between countries, depending on the process defined by local national systems, including the feedback given to Solvay or not. These differences between official systems explain why most cases reported here are in European countries (e.g. asbestos in France).

Long and short/mid-latency recognized occupational diseases

 

 

2017

 

2016

Legend: Long-latency Occupational diseases are work-related cancers or other diseases that can arise several decades after exposure. They are usually linked to exposures in the remote past that are no longer prevailing today. Short/mid-latency Occupational diseases are non-carcinogenic diseases which appear a few months or years after the occupational exposure to a causal agent (e.g. noise, ergonomic stressors, chemicals, etc.).

Scope: All sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety and health performance for its employees. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites. The figures were consolidated on Dec. 31, 2017; some of them may have changed compared to data displayed in previous reports because any new information received from Solvay's sites is taken into account systematically, even if they are related to events that had arisen in the previous years.

Long-latency occupational diseases (Asbestos benign dis., Asbestos cancers, Other cancers)

In Europe

 

10

 

20

In the rest of the word

 

0

 

0

Total Long-latency occupational diseases

 

10

 

20

Short/mid-latency occupational diseases (Hearing disorders, Musculoskeletal diseases, Other non-carcinogenic dis)

In Europe

 

1

 

2

In the rest of the world

 

2

 

2

Total Short/mid-latency occupational diseases

 

3

 

4

Total occupational diseases

 

13

 

23

Occupational diseases (ODs) rate

 

 

2017

 

2016

Legend: The Occupational Illness Frequency Rate (OIFR) is the number of recognized short/mid-latency Occupational diseases cases per one million hours worked.

Scope: All sites under Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety and health performance for its employees. This represents 219 sites incl. manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites. The figures were consolidated on Dec. 31, 2017; some of them may have changed compared to data displayed in previous reports because any new information received from Solvay's sites is taken into account systematically, even if they are related to events that had arisen in the previous years.

Occupational illness frequency rate (short/mid-latency)

 

0.06

 

0.08