Note 9: Process safety

Process safety management

In 2014, the Process safety management (PSM) framework was introduced as the set of minimum process safety requirements at all our sites. These requirements are compatible with major PSM legislation in the European Union and the US.

Implementation of the framework is phased. Sites have been prioritized based on their residual risk, taking into account their inherent production hazards and current levels of process safety performance. In 2014, PSM implementation was initiated at the 46 sites assessed as most safety-critical. Other sites will follow in 2015 and 2016.

Each site will need to complete four milestones: training, a gap analysis, implementation and completion, and production of predefined deliverables. All sites are expected to complete the four milestones by the end of 2018. Implementation progress is monitored and reported on a monthly basis to the Executive Committee and to line management.

Loss of containment

Akzo Nobel uses “loss of primary containment’’ as a main indicator of process safety performance at our manufacturing sites.

Loss of containment incidents

Loss of containment incidents (graphic)Loss of containment incidents (graphic)

Loss of containment is defined as an unplanned release of material, product, raw material or energy to the environment (including those resulting from human error). Losses of containment are divided into four categories, dependent on severity, from small on-site spill (Level A) to a significant escape (Level D).

  • The number of losses of containment classed as Level D went down from 1 in 2013 to zero in 2014
  • We recorded nine minor spills or leakages. Four of the spills were contained on site. In five cases, a small amount of the spilled material went off site. All of the spills were reported to the authorities and fully investigated, while immediate action was taken to prevent reoccurrence
  • There was a general improvement in the safety performance of our high hazard sites. The number of high hazard sites that have reached safety maturity “reference level” (considered satisfactory) has increased significantly. In total, 83 percent of high hazard sites achieved this level in all elements of the AkzoNobel safety management system, while 86 percent of all sites reached the reference level in the process safety elements