Safety Leader has been our priority over this past year from our Mid-Century Strategy with key initiatives launched
TECHNICAL AND SAFETY DIRECTOR
Process incidents and losses
Safety will always be at the top of Euro Chlor’s agenda. In 2020, our process incidents and losses remained the same as 2019 with 3.25 incidents per million tonnes of chlorine production. This translates, in absolute numbers, to 30 process incidents (reported via our annual Sustainability Questionnaire), which is almost equal to 2019.
Since these figures do not yet correspond to our vision of zero incidents, Euro Chlor and its members are continuously trying to find new ways to reach this vision.
No improvement but no decrease in performance compared to 2019
New safety training programme launched
One of our latest safety initiatives is a series of new safety trainings. From January to mid-April 2021, Euro Chlor conducted two identical rounds of 11 intensive, 90-minute lessons. These briefings reached 200 participants from 25 member companies, generating very positive feedback. Euro Chlor is now reviewing and improving the material and plans to launch a new training session in early 2022.
Interactive safety training game comes closer to launching
Another safety initiative is the development of an interactive safety game expected to be released by the beginning of 2022. The development of this game for plant operators and engineers has been progressing well. Euro Chlor’s GEST Working Group has carried out several tests, which needed to be virtual due to the COVID-19 conditions.
In practice, the board game will be played with a team of four people and one facilitator. Final testing will be carried out with groups of operators from member companies and for each test, the Euro Chlor and development team from the University of Delft will travel to sites and get feedback to further improve the game. Training of facilitators has also been foreseen.
Thanks to a decade of commitment and consistent efforts by the Euro Chlor team, the General Technical Committee (GTC) and the GEST Working Group, the incident reporting rate has increased from 6% in 2011 to 80% in 2020. The incident reports allow the GTC and GEST to discuss and share the lessons learned. This enables Euro Chlor to enhance the documents so that members can avoid similar future incidents.
Increase in the coverage rate of incident reports
Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) for member company staff improved with a decrease to 2.17 per million working hours in 2020 from 2.93 in 2019. Unfortunately, contractor LTIs increased from 0.82 to 2.06 per million working hours. The combined figure still showed an improvement from 2.23 in 2019 to 2.14 in 2020.
The past six years have seen LTI levels fluctuate between 1 and 3 per million working hours. Even though this represents a reduction from previous years, Euro Chlor and its members will continue to work towards the goal of zero LTIs.
4% decrease in total number of LTIs (member staff + contractors)
Please note, since 2011 the LTI frequency rate only includes incidents directly related to chlor-alkali industry specific items.
Health Working Group focus on stress and burnout and acute chlorine exposure
Despite the members of Euro Chlor’s Health Working Group being busy keeping their company personnel safe during the COVID-19 restrictions, they still managed to develop a series of tools to further improve our industry’s health.
The first is a training to raise awareness on stress and burnout which, whilst not unique to our sector, can have a real impact.
The second is a flow diagram that provides voluntary guidance to emergency services on how to treat an acute chlorine exposure.
The graph below shows a slight increase in the percentage of chlorine transported via road or rail (from 4.3% in 2019 to 4.8% in 2020). This can be explained by an increase in participating companies in 2020. More specifically, the extra companies that took part in this year’s reporting exercise have higher transportation rates. Again, we are pleased to note that no transport incidents (with chlorine) were reported in 2020.
increase in chlorine transportation mainly due to more participating companies in this year’s review.
Loading and Unloading commitment now being implemented
Late-2020, Euro Chlor members agreed upon a commitment related to the safe loading and unloading of chlor-alkali chemicals. The relevant document (GEST 18/494) has now been translated into several languages and distributed to members for implementation. Progress on implementation is being followed up by the Euro Chlor General Technical Committee and the Management Committee.
Safety communication focus continues
Euro Chlor’s Safety Initiative work over the past year has continued unabated. This includes the publication of our quarterly safety newsletter to allow members and partners to easily learn from the latest Incident Reports, safety discussions in every relevant meeting and the ongoing updates of several recommendations.