“Over the past 30 years, our ongoing safety initiative has gone from strength to strength and is now using modern techniques and training tools to ensure that everyone returns home healthy every day.”
Ton Manders, Technical & Safety Director
Process incidents and losses decreased in 2018 towards the 2016 level. In 2018, this was 2.30 incidents per million tonnes of chlorine produced.
Whilst the Euro Chlor technical Working Groups continue to investigate the 2017 ‘incident spike’, they welcome the 2018 decrease and the increasing reporting efforts of our membership. Now that Euro Chlor receives information on some 70% of the incidents, the relevant Working Groups can have even more detailed discussions, compiling lessons learnt, updating and even developing new guidelines.
Loading and Unloading update
Euro Chlor members are seeing an increasing number of safety issues related to the loading and unloading of chlor-alkali related products. As such, a new GEST recommendation has been prepared entitled “Safe Loading and Unloading of Chlor-Alkali related Chemicals”. In addition, an initiative has begun to prepare a Euro Chlor commitment that will implement safe rules for loading and unloading of our chemicals, not only at member sites but also amongst customer and transport companies.
To further support its Safety Initiative, Euro Chlor began a project with the University of Delft in June 2019 to develop an interactive ‘game’ for use as a process safety learning tool by our members. This will help create more awareness and understanding of the hazards associated with chlor-alkali production. A prototype is expected by the summer of 2020, which several members will evaluate to see if it can be used to train people in the plant. If this ‘beta-test’ goes well, the tool will be expanded to cover all the important learnings on process safety in our sector.
In 2018, Lost Time Injuries (LTIs) for member company personnel improved compared to 2017, from 1.39 to 1.26 per million working hours.
Whilst the frequency rate for member company personnel continues to move in the right direction, member companies still struggle to achieve a similar performance improvement for contractors. Indeed, the LTI figure for contractor staff worsened (from 1.99 to 2.33). With a sustained ‘aiming for zero’ mentality for ALL employees (own and contractors), Euro Chlor members continue their efforts in training and supporting contractors to further increase awareness and to improve on working safely.
Health Working Group update
Euro Chlor’s Health Working Group has delivered several guidance documents to help further improve the health of Europe’s chlor-alkali workforce. Over the past year, the group has been developing a series of tools to ensure that the information in these documents gets to the people who need it. These tools include:
- Brief summaries on the chemical risks of chlor-alkali products for workers and site managers;
- An informative poster and training presentation to raise worker awareness on electromagnetic fields that can be found on production sites. These will be made available in local languages;
- Emergency information sheets for hospitals on what to do in case of accidental chlorine release;
In addition, the group is compiling expert advice and authority information on the causes and protection against stress and burnout. From this a training presentation will be prepared to help protect everyone in our industry against this rising issue.