Safety is part of Covestro's DNA
All of our employees – including the Executive Board and site management – are committed to drive continuous improvement and to achieve excellence in the HSEQ areas. Covestro considers the guidelines as an important building block in reaching its corporate goals. Adherence to processes is regularly verified through internal and external audits.
Covestro improves the quality of the health benefits provided for employees regularly, while encouraging awareness of healthy lifestyles. The company also sets itself high standards with regard to its own products and processes, which should not pose a risk to health at any time.
The comprehensive safety management and the distinct safety culture are cornerstones of Covestro's corporate responsibility. Covestro distinguishs three main fields: personal safety, process safety and product safety. The company strives to reduce the total number of recordable incidents to zero, grant the secure and reliable operation of its plants, and ensure the safe use of its products at all times.
Covestro has signed the Responsible Care® Global Charter. It is an worldwide initiative of the chemical industry. Companies who join the charter are committed to achieve excellence in the HSEQ areas. In order to drive continuous improvement, Covestro is working with government agencies and other partners in voluntary cooperation. They are intended to supplement legal requirements. In addition to Covestro, many other German companies have signed the charter.
The Covestro Safety Day takes places every year, including at its German locations. The event is filled with plenty of hands-on activities, expert presentations, and practical safety training sessions. From a run through the slips, trips, and falls obstacle course to injury and hearing protection advice and even a 3D driving simulation, the event offers a little bit of everything.
Traditionally, the Covestro Safety Day also offers employees a chance to broaden their own horizons. Experts from different industries provide interesting tips and tricks on safety. The guests included Hans Josef Weber, Senior Site Engineer for Railway Technology at the Gotthard Tunnel, and Andy Holzer, blind extreme athlete from Austria. They spoke about what safety means to them and about the significance of teamwork in their daily work.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original program for 2020 could not be realized. Covestro's goal is to provide all employees, partners and service providers with the best possible protection against infection with the virus. Therefore, the centerpiece of the program in 2020 was a virtual event for all sites in Germany and Switzerland: Participants were able to learn about health and safety issues on a virtual platform with a large number of interactive elements.
Getting innovations off the ground is a priniple that also applies to safety. Covestro impressed with its internal campaign "BEGREIFEN - Bewusster mit Sicherheit" and won second place in the category "Culture" at the German Occupational Safety and Health Awards 2019.
During the campaign, the company implemented a range of projects designed to sensitize employees for the issue of safety. Alongside the Eingliederungswerkstatt e.V. Krefeld-Uerdingen, Covestro developed a specialized glove, in which the thumbs have blind seams and are therefore unusable. The project was designed to raise the awareness of employees for the topic of hand safety. It is just one of many examples of how Covestro wants to improve occupational health and safety.
Safety policy sets standards for German sites
Uniform guidelines, such as for process safety, provide the framework for a secure and reliable operation of the company's plants. Therefore, they are essential to protect people and the environment. This is why Covestro has taken all the necessary precautions in Germany at its sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen as well as in Brunsbüttel, Meppen, Bomlitz and Markt Bibart.
The foundation for safe operation is laid during the planning and construction phases – for instance, by the selection of processes, the layout of machinery and equipment, and the use of suitable materials. The processes are analyzed by experts in multi-stage risk assessments later on. The aim is to identify potential deviations or disruptions and develop the appropriate safety plans.
Local safety guidelines in chemical and industrial parks
Just as at all other Covestro sites, existing facilities in Germany are continuously monitored and maintained. The primary reason for this is that production plants need to keep pace with technological advances at all times – a prerequisite to improve their level of efficiency and sustainability.
However, the company's own safety management system is only one level of a complex concept. As part of chemical and industrial parks, Covestro also incorporates a series of additional local safety guidelines:
Covestro's sites in Leverkusen, Dormagen and Krefeld-Uerdingen are located in chemical parks. They each have a uniform emergency response concept, ensuring the same safety standard across local companies.
The site fire brigade, which is managed by the chemical park operator, plays a prominent part in the emergency response concept of the Chempark. The brigade is specially trained, has outstanding technical equipment at their disposal, and is available to all local companies around the clock. It cooperates closely with the authorities and Covestro departments. This ensures a rapid exchange of information and effective intervention in the case of an emergency.
As the operator of the Brunsbüttel Industrial Park, Covestro is focusing on clear priorities: process safety, the well-being of its employees and neighbors, and environmental protection. This is why the site fire brigade is on call around the clock. In addition, technical equipment is inspected regularly.
Brunsbüttel has established a clear safety philosophy: every production plant, every process, every work stage is systematically analyzed for potential hazards. This approach prevents possible incidents before they occur. At the same time, all employees are trained in regular exercise sessions on how to respond in case of an emergency.
All steps are documented in a common emergency response concept. The individual steps have been approved by local authorities.
Covestro's site in Bomlitz is part of the Walsrode Industrial Park. The Industrial Park agrees that personal safety and environmental protection are top priorities. This is why the local companies have set themselves very high standards – particularly in terms of occupational safety, health and environmental protection. In some cases, the commitments even go well beyond the legal requirements. All guidelines are outlined in a clearly defined schedule.
In addition to its health and safety-related activities, Covestro is working to further improve its sustainability footprint. Thus, the company is making a key contribution to global climate and environmental protection. One of its top priorities is leveraging innovative technologies and processes to ensure that valuable resources are used more efficiently. These innovations have helped to reduce consumption of raw materials and energy and to sink emissions.
Moreover, Covestro sets high standards for the quality of raw materials and their further processing into high-tech materials. The company wants to continuously improve its products so they can last for as long as possible. Covestro has outlined this vision in its Circular Economy strategy.