Safety management and the continuous development of a safety culture are a cornerstone of corporate responsibility in the Bayer Group. Preventing accidents and incidents in day-to-day work, when operating production facilities, and on work-related travel and transportation routes where people or the environment may suffer harm or damage has top priority for us.

Responsibility for steering and monitoring health, safety and environmental protection (HSE) across the Group lies with the enabling function of the same name, which is assigned to the member of the Board of Management responsible for Crop Science. The enabling function establishes responsibilities, targets, key performance indicators and framework conditions. These include the corporate policy entitled “HSE Management and HSE Key Requirements,” adopted in April 2018. The continuous review and revision of corporate policies by the HSE enabling function, regular mandatory internal audits and external certification processes ensure that the systems at all sites meet the requirements in each case. 

Occupational Health and Safety

Safeguarding the occupational health and safety of our employees, and of the employees of contractors under the direct supervision of Bayer, involves preventing work-related accidents and occupational illnesses, assessing potential hazards, ensuring comprehensive risk management and creating a healthy working environment.

The basis of our reporting on occupational injuries is the Recordable Incident Rate (RIR), which covers all injuries to and occupational illnesses of Bayer employees and employees of contractors under the direct supervision of Bayer leading to medical treatment that goes beyond simple first aid. As a result, the RIR covers injuries and occupational illnesses both with and without lost workdays. In 2019, it increased to 0.46 cases per 200,000 hours worked, corresponding to 599 occupational injuries worldwide (2018: 487). Lost Time Recordable Incident Rate (LTRIR), climbed to 0.27 in 2019. Regrettably, one person lost their life in a work-related accident in 2019.

MORE quantitative information on occupational injuries (RIR, LTRIR) as well as risk assessment in the Sustainability Report 2019

Biological Safety

In accordance with the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) on biorisk management principles, we consider biological safety to comprise the principles, technologies and processes implemented to prevent unintended exposure to biological materials that could pose a risk to people or the environment. Misuse or theft of biological materials is also prevented by corresponding measures.

Processes for carrying out assessments and measures are established in a corporate policy on biosafety that is oriented to the specifications of the WHO. Wherever local laws and regulations are more stringent than the standards laid out by the corporate policy, the more stringent variant takes precedence.

Plant Safety

We aim to design and operate our processes and production facilities in such a way that they do not pose any inappropriate risks to employees, the environment or neighboring communities. This is conditional upon an effective system to ensure plant safety being in place that enables operational risks to be identified, remedied and reduced and their effects mitigated. We are continuously working to further develop the safety culture, the expertise of employees and the globally applicable corporate policies on process and plant safety, which prescribe uniform processes and standards for evaluating risks and establishing suitable safety measures.

We have used the globally standardized key performance indicator (KPI) “Process Safety Incident Rate (PSI-R)” as an early indicator for plant safety incidents. Reporting of this indicator is based on the requirements of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).

Transportation and Storage Safety

Transportation and storage safety is a part of HSE management and is implemented by a network of experts and users with practical experience who cooperate across the Group. In this case, safety means having procedures in place that ensure that materials are handled, transported and stored according to the relevant regulations and their respective hazard potential and that suitable logistics and warehouse suppliers are selected. Details are specified in the corporate policies “Transportation Safety,” “Warehousing” and “Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) Audits.”
MORE in our 2019 Sustainability Report and under Environmental Incidents and Transport Accidents

Incident and Emergency Planning

We ensure safe working conditions and an environment where our employees can work safely and without fear and undertake international business travel without risk.

Bayer has taken steps at the global and local levels to prepare the organization for crisis situations. Accordingly, incidents are recorded, reported and handled in line with a globally applicable standard procedure, the Bayer Emergency Response System.

Processing of such incidents is the responsibility of the Group-wide safety and crisis organization or the local emergency response team. For this purpose, organizational precautions with defined responsibilities and procedures have been implemented and communicated through training measures at the sites and / or in the countries.