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Safety in the broadest sense of the term has top priority for Evonik.
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We once again improved our occupational safety performance. In the continuing operations, accident frequency (number of accidents involving company employees per million hours worked) declined from 2.3 to 2.1. In the Chemicals Business Area we reached our goal of reducing accident frequency to below 1.5 by 2014 and the accident frequency rate remained below this level in 2010. In our Real Estate shareholding we aim to reduce the accident frequency rate to 2.0 by 2014. Realization of this target is within the corridor set. There were no fatal accidents in the workplace involving Evonik employees or contractors in 2010. Moreover, no fatal traffic accidents were recorded, either during business trips or to employees traveling to and from work. However, one Evonik employee was permanently injured in an accident involving a forklift truck at the Yingkou site in China, and a contractor's employee sustained permanent injury in an accident while working on railroad lines at the Weissenstein site in Austria. The lessons learned from accidents are widely communicated within the company.
Safe and reliable operation of production plants is extremely important for the health and well-being of our employees and local inhabitants, and thus for the success of our business. We aim to steadily improve plant safety and further reduce the number of incidents involving the release of substances, fires and explosions. To further improve plant safety and avoid incidents even if they cause little or no damage, for the past three years Evonik's Chemicals Business Area has systematically recorded such incidents. The aim is to learn from them in order to prevent recurrences. In 2008 we introduced a plant safety indicator to systematically describe incidents involving the release of even small amounts of substances which would not have to be reported to the authorities. This plant safety indicator records data on unplanned release of substances from appliances, containers and pipes, even if the substance is captured and does not cause any damage. The reporting thresholds are 5 kg for toxic gases, 25 kg for toxic liquids and 100 kg for all other hazardous substances. Minor fires and explosions are recorded if they cause damage of €20,000 or above, and from lower thresholds if they involve environmental damage, or result in inconvenience or a warning to the local community. These criteria are based on the recommendations of international institutions and associations.
Evonik continuously strives to improve the security of transportation as part of the Responsible Care initiative. Special profiles are used to select logistics service providers and they are required to give an assurance that they will observe the standards set out in these profiles. If they violate these rules, they are downgraded by Evonik and required to improve. These profiles implement the Safety Quality Assessment System (SQAS) of the European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC). Quality, environmental, safety, and security criteria form the basis for a company-specific assessment of service providers, coupled with monitoring of compliance with statutory and sector-specific standards and requirements.
To ensure we are well prepared to meet international and especially European security requirements on protection against criminal and terrorist attacks, in 2010 we established a procedure to protect our supply chain and issued site and transportation security guidelines. Security managers in our business units are required to ensure that security plans and the associated measures are in place for critical substances and business operations. To protect employees on international assignments and business trips our Emergency Management and Assistance System has now been extended to include security-related incidents. A new, specially trained crisis management team at Group level ensures that we are prepared.