Xact: Board of Management’s global safety initiative
LANXESS attaches the highest priority to the safety of all its work processes. Our Xact global safety program, launched in 2011, is aimed at further raising employee awareness of safety and working together to improve safety throughout the company. The central body for monitoring the program is the LANXESS HSE Council, which includes two members of the Board of Management and five business unit and group function heads.
Following our successful two-year collaboration with DuPont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) in designing Xact, we began implementing the program without external support in June 2013.
The 12 international corporate sub-committees established to scrutinize and refine our global HSE standards largely completed their task in 2013. Based on the results of their work, we familiarized just under half our workforce with the cultural elements of our occupational safety and health program in a first implementation phase. We also initiated training for the management levels at selected sites outside Germany. At the present time, we are preparing training documents in our various corporate languages adapted to the cultural requirements of different countries.
Key measures developed by the corporate sub-committees focus on the prevention and sustained avoidance of accidents. In this connection, we consider an improved reporting culture to be especially important. In 2013, we began systematically recording near accidents so we can analyze their causes and implement corresponding corrective action. A further important preventive measure is the workplace safety analysis we are performing at all our sites in Germany. Using a guideline, experienced employees partner a safety expert or trained plant employee to assess which equipment and working procedures could be a risk to our employees and how these risks can be avoided.
We are also seeking to achieve an improved mutual understanding of occupational safety with our partner companies and are increasingly integrating them into our safety culture. They must, for example, provide verification of their own safety management system and disclose their injury statistics to LANXESS. We also expect all employees who work for us to complete certain safety training. In addition, we now measure the success of the individual safety briefings we give to the employees of our partner companies.
Recording accidents and incidents Thanks to our global electronic Incident Reporting System (IRS), we are able to record accidents and incidents using standardized procedures. The incidents that are documented include accidents involving people, transport accidents, near accidents, environmental incidents and downtime caused by, for example, bad weather or strike action. We communicate significant incidents worldwide via our intranet or by newsletter. Each incident is carefully analyzed to identify measures that can be taken to avoid similar accidents, disruptions or near accidents in the future.
The lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR), known as MAQ (injuries for every million hours worked) in Germany, is one of the indicators used to assess occupational safety. In 2013, the LTIFR was 3.2, compared with 3.4 in 2012. Our analyses have shown that the number of lost days per accident has decreased significantly, which indicates a decline in the severity of accidents. This can be attributed to our employees’ raised awareness for occupational safety, which was enhanced by our stronger focus on this issue throughout 2013.