Note 8: Process safety

AkzoNobel uses “loss of primary containment” as a main indicator of process safety performance at its manufacturing sites.

The results for 2013 present a varied picture.

  • Level D incidents went up from zero in 2012 to one in 2013
  • At the same time, 2013 marked a general improvement in the management of safety at our high hazard sites. The number of these sites that have reached the targeted maturity level has increased significantly – 93 percent reached the reference level for process safety performance in our self assessment questionnaire (see Note 10). A total of 78 percent achieved reference level on all elements of the AkzoNobel HSE management system, while 82 percent reached reference level for safety leadership elements, which we consider an indicator for the safety culture on site
  • Current performance confirms the need for full implementation of two common HSE platform projects focused on process safety performance improvement, specifically process safety management, and the embedding of our self-assessment questionnaire improvement processes

Process safety management

  • Through a company-wide process safety management (PSM) project, our mandatory company standards have been revised to ensure they are compatible with current and near future major PSM legislation (such as Seveso-3 and OSHA 1910). These standards define the minimum process safety requirements and performance metrics
  • In 2013, pilots were conducted at ten AkzoNobel sites with varying hazard classification levels, located in different regions and covering all three of the company”s Business Areas. The pilot results will deliver a template for process safety improvement actions, related to the risks assessed
  • The findings from the pilots will also be used to facilitate global implementation of the standards, additional guidance documents and company best practices

Loss of containment incidents

Loss of containment is defined as an unplanned release of material, product, raw material or energy to the environment (including those resulting from human error). Losses of containment are divided into four categories, dependent on severity, from small on-site spills (Level A) to a significant escape (Level D).