Evonik Industries consolidates its process and plant safety know-how in order to ensure uniform safety standards at a high level worldwide. This is expected by the Group’s neighbors and by the capital market.
The list of Evonik’s new, expanded, and planned production facilities is a long one. It includes plants for methionine in Singapore, C4 chemistry in Marl and Antwerp (Belgium), and silica in Americana (Brazil) and Chester (Pennsylvania, USA). The Group’s declared course of worldwide growth includes the increase of its production and sales volumes all over the world. However, in all of these facilities the top priority is safety. The global initiative “Safety at Evonik” reflects the Group’s sense of responsibility regarding this issue. The initiative’s main guiding principles is “We build and operate plants with the intention of causing no harm to the people who work there, our neighbors and the environment.”
In order to implement this principle and ensure that the highest safety standards are complied with at each of its facilities worldwide, Evonik established the Global Process Safety Competence Center, or GPSC. The GPSC team consists of experts from Evonik with outstanding skills in the field of process and plant safety. These experts have gathered many years of experience with diverse chemical processes and facilities all over the world, and they are combining their know-how at the GPSC.
Chief Human Resources Officer, Evonik Industries AG
Their clearly defined goal is “Zero accidents at Evonik.” That also applies to safety-relevant disruptions of processes and facilities that could arise, for example, as a result of leaks at a plant or situations where products or raw materials could catch fire. Not only our employees and the neighbors of our production facilities, but also the general public, and local and national authorities expect us to minimize these hazards and thus prevent accidents, especially accidents that could cause major damage. In order to provide these safety measures, the GPSC’s mission is to provide expert support for the plant managers worldwide as they carry out their safety-related responsibilities.
SYSTEMATIC, INTERDISCIPLINARY, AND INTERNATIONAL
In order to prevent safety-relevant disruptions of processes and facilities, the safety experts at the GPSC regularly and comprehensively analyze possible hazards and design safety concepts for our plants. In this process, the experts take into account the behavior of the facility’s workforce and the functional safety of the technical equipment. In order to take all of the available knowledge and experience into account, the GPSC experts closely cooperate with the facility’s workforce as well as engineers and chemists.
The GPSC operates at locations in Germany, China, and the USA. From these locations, the team provides intensive support for major investment projects all over the world, from the initial planning steps to the production start-up of the facilities. They also regularly rechek and revise the safety concepts of existing facilities.
These special efforts and resources that are devoted to process and plant safety are vital. That’s the opinion of Evonik’s employees and neighbors, as well as of many others. More and more analysts, investors, and insurers are including process and plant safety in their evaluations of companies. Through its activities, the GPSC is also assuring valuable goodwill—a currency that is internationally recognized everywhere, from Marl to Singapore.
At Evonik, safeguarding health and ensuring safe behavior in the workplace also receive top priority. That’s the core of our guiding principles for safety, “Safety at Evonik.” The guidelines present more than 100 binding operation principles for all of the Group’s employees in the four topic areas Standards, Communication, Risk Management, and Involvement. It explains which of these principles are binding on individual behavior and which activities must be explicitly avoided.