Accidents and Incidents
We continuously take steps to prevent safety-related accidents and incidents. After an event has occurred, we conduct a review of the relevant processes at WACKER production sites across the Group.
In July 2020, four external employees were injured in an accident at the Charleston site in Tennessee, USA. In November 2020, a minor release of hydrogen chloride and steam occurred in a production building there. During the building’s evacuation, five external-company employees were injured, one of them fatally. We are deeply saddened that this accident led to a person’s death. The accident, which had no impact beyond the site or on the environment, was investigated in detail – including for any potential improvement measures at this and other WACKER production plants.
We apply the criteria of the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) when assessing safety-relevant and environmentally relevant events. These include substance spills, fires and explosions, as well as incidents that have no adverse impact on people or the environment, e.g. if all of a spilled substance was contained by the catch basin or the sewer system and was eliminated by in-plant wastewater treatment facilities.
We depict the number of safety-relevant and environmentally relevant incidents in relation to 1 million hours worked. This performance indicator, which we call the WACKER Process Safety Incident Rate or WPSIR, is tracked across the Group so that we can keep improving our safety management record. During the reporting period, we also introduced a nuanced view of incident severity to serve as a complement to the WPSIR.
Although the WPSIR remained unchanged in 2018 and 2019, incident severity fell from 2018 to 2019. We study the causes of incidents in detail and then take measures to prevent these and similar types from occurring.