Risk Management

The first step in ensuring plant safety is to systematically identify risks and assess them. This includes analyzing how well we control the energy present in a process (e.g. pressure, heat) and determining the effect that a single error might have on a chain of events that could lead to the escape of a substance or to an accident. On completion of this comprehensive analysis, we specify safety measures to prevent undesirable incidents.

Safety Training & Inspections

WACKER attaches particular importance to providing its safety experts with ongoing training. We hold regular training sessions, for example, on plant safety and explosion-damage protection. Group experts organize safety training at WACKER sites, including those outside Germany. During 2015, we also audited the US sites in Adrian, Calvert City and Eddyville. Safety experts from Germany assisted with commissioning of the new Charleston site. In 2016, our regional focus was on Europe, where we reviewed, for example, the safety management system in place at the Stetten and Halle sites in Germany, and examined -metal production at Holla in Norway. Experts from Germany provided their colleagues in China with several weeks of plant-safety training.

Low accident figures are a reflection of safety-conscious conduct. At WACKER, we give special recognition to facilities that operate for sustained periods of time without a reportable accident. Some of these have also been honored by institutions outside the company.

WACKER Greater China supports other chemical companies in establishing process-safety systems. WACKER partnered with the Zhangjiagang Free Trade Zone and the National Center for International Cooperation in Work Safety (NCICS) in order to hold around 31 process-safety training courses for 83 companies during the reporting period. 710 participants attended these courses in Zhangjiagang and Nanjing.

Transport Safety

WACKER ensures that its products are safely stored and transported, We carefully inspect vehicles before loading them, especially if hazardous goods are involved. In 2016, we had inspections carried out on over 9,500 trucks (2015: over 7,000). If a vehicle fails an inspection, we refuse to deploy it until the defects have been remedied. Failure rates have been low for years now. In 2016, the rate was about 1.3 percent for hazardous goods shipments in Germany (2015: 1.5 percent). WACKER regularly audits its hazardous goods shippers.

We rely on well-trained personnel for transport safety, too. In 2015 and 2016, our workforce in Germany alone completed around 2,200 classroom training courses on the safe transportation of hazardous goods and some 1,900 online courses about securing freight.

We regularly review aspects of transport safety with our logistics providers, e.g. during the annual Supplier Day. If deficiencies are found, we agree on improvements and then follow up on their implementation. When selecting logistics service providers and evaluating their performance, WACKER uses in-house criteria and internationally recognized systems, such as the Safety and Quality Assessment System (SQAS) operated by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic). Our evaluation criteria include drivers’ qualifications and training, vehicle equipment and accident response. Through the use of standards and specifications, WACKER ensures that even the subcontractors working for our logistics providers meet our stringent safety requirements.

For products that have a high hazard potential, we use packaging and tanks of the highest quality. Wherever possible, we assess the road route to be taken by the transport.

We recorded a total of 20 transport incidents in 2015 and 2016. This number includes not only accidents and incidents involving the distribution of our intermediates and products where we commissioned the transport, but also incidents that do not involve hazardous goods, as well as those that do not adversely impact on people or the environment. These incidents, too, form part of our shipper assessments.

Transport Accidents








Number of Accidents







































Inland waterways














After oxygen, silicon is the most common element on the earth’s crust. In nature, it occurs without exception in the form of compounds, chiefly silicon dioxide and silicates. Silicon is obtained through energy-intensive reaction of quartz sand with carbon and is the most important raw material in the electronics industry.