Health, safety, environment
and security management

Managing health, safety, environment and security (HSE&S) is a cornerstone of a successful coatings and chemicals industry. We have global HSE&S standards in place to ensure our sites protect people, assets, the environment, the business and society at large.

Leadership training

Our Safety Leadership Program targeted at senior business leaders was developed and launched with sessions for the Board of Management and corporate directors in 2009. It has now been rolled out across business management teams. The objective is to help senior managers to be a personal role model for safety in their organizations and for them to ensure the right level of management support for improvement activities.

Shared learning and engagement

An HSE&S alert system, to share learning on serious incidents and near misses, is now fully operational and reaches our HSE&S professionals worldwide. Alerts for 2010 have included learning and good practice around chemical burns, distribution and driving safety, and permit to work systems. An intranet-based global incident reporting system was successfully piloted in 2010 and was released for use across our businesses. We will analyze the basic risk factors from incidents to identify new improvement initiatives required to continue to improve the safety and health of our people and to safeguard our facilities.

HSE&S capability building and career development

Activities to strengthen our HSE&S capability standards and development processes are progressing to plan. The competency framework and role profiles for HSE&S professionals have been piloted and finalized. During 2011 the framework and profiles will be extended to management roles with critical HSE&S functions, including production managers and site managers. The framework will be applied in the 2011 annual performance assessment and resulting development planning activities.

Reliable operations

Operational management systems at our sites are integrated for quality and HSE&S. They are risk-based and follow the Responsible Care® and Coatings Care® principles. Our management standards are set up and updated in accordance with international standards such as ISO-9000, ISO-14001, RC-14001 and OHSAS-18001.

HSE&S audit

The new HSE&S audit process combines a continuous improvement tool for sites with a periodic audit managed by our internal auditing department. During 2010, we carried out 51 corporate HSE&S audits and 10 reassurance audits, which are required for sites with high risk findings.

Management audits number of audits

Management audits number of audits (bar chart)

As a result of the management review of the audit process in 2009, the HSE&S management system tools have been fine-tuned and further improved. All members of the corporate HSE&S auditor pool were trained on the improved audit protocol in the first half of 2010. The regionally conducted training sessions in North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia focused on calibration of the classification of audit findings, as well as the latest changes of the audit protocol and system tools.

Learnings from the 2010 audits indicate that we need to improve our management of occupational health and process safety/asset integrity.

Serious incidents

We classify incidents based on severity of outcome from local impact (Level 1) to serious incident (Level 3). All incidents are investigated to identify root causes, take remedial action and share learning, via HSE alerts, as appropriate across our other sites.

Serious incidents number of incidents

Serious Incidents number of incidents (bar chart)

Serious incidents (Level 3) involve any loss of life; more than five serious injuries; environmental, asset or business damage totaling more than €25 million; or serious reputational damage.

There were ten serious incidents (Level 3) during 2010. We regret that, although not under our direct control, haulage truck drivers and members of the public died as a result of these incidents.

  • Six distribution incidents (in Brazil, China, Australia, India, the US and Colombia) involved loss of life to haulage truck drivers and members of the public
  • One motor vehicle incident in the US in which one of our employees died and three incidents involving our employees in which four members of the public died in Brazil and Poland
  • One kidnap case without personal injury in Pakistan.

All these incidents have renewed our focus on haulage contract management and implementation of safe and defensive driving practices. For further details on preventive action, see the Occupational safety/safe driving and Product stewardship/distribution sections.

Regulatory actions

We have defined three categories of regulatory action, from self-reported issues (Level 1) to formal legal notifications with fines above €10,000 (Level 3) and are reporting these for the second year. There were four Level 3 incidents during 2010:

  • Three minor violations of the risk management program regulations at LeMoyne
  • An injury related to a hose rupture in Sweden
  • A provisional fine for an infringement of the Seveso regulations at Kleefsewaard, the Netherlands, was commuted by timely corrective actions.

We also received a fine following an injury in Barcelona, reported last year.

Security management

Security of assets, people and information is an integral part of our HSE&S management system. Security assessments help our sites to identify risks and put in place appropriate security protection, as well as meeting the demands of increasingly strict legislation in the US and Europe. In 2010, a special team led by our corporate Information Management department has been addressing cyber security at our plants to protect our process safety performance and intellectual property rights.

Keyword Search
Copyright © 2011 Akzo Nobel N.V.