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Management & Governance
- Bayer Sustainability Council
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Health and Safety Have the Highest Priority for Bayer
We are fully committed to the health and safety of all the people that work for us. We’ve set out the details of this commitment in our 2022 Sustainability report.
Responsibility for steering and monitoring health, safety and environmental protection (HSE) aspects across the Group lies with the Public Affairs, Science, Sustainability & HSE Enabling Function (PASS&HSE), which is assigned to the Chairman of the Board of Management, who also serves as Bayer's Chief Sustainability Officer. The Public Affairs, Science, Sustainability & HSE Enabling Function establishes responsibilities, targets, key performance indicators and framework conditions for the entire Group. These conditions include the provisions of the Group Regulation on HSE Management and HSE Key Requirements, which forms an integral part of the global HSE management system and was approved at the Board of Management level in 2018.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 110.
Health Provision for Employees
“Health for all” is a core element of our corporate mission, which is why the health of our employees is of the utmost importance for us. We have established employee health provision programs to support access to reliable and high-quality healthcare.
In 2022, we continued:
- To promote our employee global framework BeWell@Bayer to encourage the good health and wellbeing of our employees. It includes 5 key pillars – Occupational Health & Safety, Working conditions, Health conscious behaviour, Health Cover and Healthy Leadership.
- Our focus on mental health. Through our global House of Health community, we offer training programs for leaders and employees to share personal stories and to talk openly about how they’re feeling.
- Our occupational health management activities which are many and varied and include practicing good ergonomics, stress management, staying active, good nutrition.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 99.
Occupational Health and Safety
Safeguarding the occupational health and safety of our employees and contractors involves:
- preventing occupational accidents and occupational illnesses
- assessing potential hazards
- ensuring comprehensive risk management
- creating a healthy working environment
Bayer employees and contractors receive extensive training in the prevention of accidents and safety incidents and in promoting and maintaining good health. More than 58,000 employees completed health and safety training in 2022. We also promote safety-conscious behaviour to help prevent accidents and injuries.
In 2021, we launched a central data collection platform for integrated accident management. It enables sites to share accident analysis information digitally and determine corrective measures more quickly. The platform also makes it easier for our occupational health and safety experts to exchange information about occupational illnesses and injuries.
Occupational health and safety measures include our:
- House of Health community – go/health
- Annual Health & Safety Day
- Global HSE Newsletter
Risk assessment and preventive measures
Our workplaces are subject to a comprehensive health-related risk assessment and hazard analysis by Bayer experts. They also cover possible exposure of employees to chemicals. Our employees and those of contractors are urged to immediately report work-related hazards or dangerous situations.
Once again we placed special emphasis on mental health in 2022. We continue to endeavour to break down taboos surrounding mental health and have put in place:
- A central intranet platform “House of Health,” with wide-ranging information and training offerings to address issues such as mental health and healthy living
- Training of more than 180 internal Health Champions and the establishment of a global Health Champions Community
- More than 600 different training courses, lectures and podcasts on maintaining good mental health, aimed at various target groups
- Workshops for managerial staff on mental health and well-being
- Employee Assistance Programs offered online and in person to employees and their families – that focus on psychosocial support from experts. We now offer EAPs to more than 95% of our employees and their families by the end of 2022, compared with 78% at the beginning of 2021.
Occupational injuries and occupational illnesses
In 2022, our Recordable Incident Rate (RIR) - which covers all occupational injuries and illnesses suffered by Bayer employees and employees of contractors under the direct supervision of Bayer, leading to medical treatment that goes beyond basic first aid - was at 0.37 cases per 200,000 hours worked, which is equivalent to 413 occupational injuries worldwide (2021: 443).
Recordable injuries with lost workdays constituted 204 of the total of 413 occupational injuries, meaning that the corresponding parameter, the Lost Time Recordable Incident Rate (LTRIR), improved slightly from 0.22 in 2021 to 0.18 in 2022.
Regrettably, one employee lost his life in a work-related accident in 2022.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 118.
We consider biosafety 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 and the misuse or theft of biological materials.
We use a digital tool for systematic recording. Employees entrusted with biosafety matters possess the necessary expertise. Processes for carrying out assessments and other necessary measures are established in a Group Regulation on Biosafety that is based on the specifications of the WHO, among other things.
Wherever local laws and regulations are more stringent than the standards laid out by the Group regulation, the more stringent variant takes precedence.
A group of biosafety experts from the divisions and regions cooperates within the Bayer Biosafety Panel. It is responsible for developing, reviewing and implementing Bayer’s biosafety rules throughout the Group. It also advises and supports the biosafety community with which it maintains regular communication to ensure a uniform and high standard of biosafety throughout the company.
The implementation of legal and Bayer Group guidelines on biosafety is also overseen by the HSE audit program.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 120.
8.8 Plant Safety
We aim to design and operate our processes and production facilities in such a way that does not pose any inappropriate risks to our employees, the environment, or neighbouring communities.
We are continuously working to further develop our safety culture, the expertise of employees and the Group regulations on process and plant safety, which also cover topics such as machine and laboratory safety.
Our Group regulations specify uniform procedures and standards for risk assessment and corresponding safety measures, and we implement the requisite training. We ensure that a uniform safety level is in place at the 40 Bayer sites at which volumes of hazardous substances significant for plant safety are stored or processed, while going beyond the legal requirements in most countries.
Based on our Group Regulation on Process and Plant Safety, the comprehensive safety concept for a process or plant comprises the following elements:
- An operating concept
- A safety concept (to prevent incidents)
- Damage mitigation concepts
Since 2019, we have used the globally standardized key performance indicator (KPI) Process Safety Incident Rate (PSI-R) as an indicator for plant safety. In 2022, the PSI-R was 0.11 (2021: 0.08). A total of 122 process safety incidents occurred in 2022 (Process Safety Incident Count, PSI-C). In addition, we also indicate the Process Safety Incident Se-verity Rate (PSI-SR). We report this according to the grading system of the International Council of Chemical Associations (ICCA).
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 121.
8.9 Transportation and Storage Safety
Logistics at Bayer comprises not just the transportation and warehousing of goods, but also the steering and monitoring of flows of goods and logistics data for the Bayer Group. As an element of Bayer’s HSE management system, transportation and storage safety is monitored through a risk-based audit system. It is also anchored in our rules for collaboration with service suppliers.
Our logistics processes ensure that materials are handled, transported and stored according to the relevant regulations and the materials' respective hazard potential. This also involves selecting suitable logistics and warehouse suppliers. The underlying standards comprise not just internal Bayer guidelines such as the Global Transport Requirements but also the rules of the international crop protection association CropLife International and the European Guidelines on Good Distribution Practice of Medicinal Products for Human Use.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 123.
8.10 Emergency, Security and Crisis Management
We ensure safe working conditions and an environment where our employees can work safely and without fear - whether in the office, in production or undertaking international business travel. Through Group regulations, Bayer has taken action at global and local level to prepare the organization for extraordinary events (e.g. major damage events or crimes), and assess and process them based on standardized criteria. Bayer’s crisis management system ensures organizational and procedural conditions are in place to avoid or counteract a crisis or to restore regular business operations as quickly as possible after a crisis has occurred.
In February 2022, a Corporate Crisis Team supported by specialized task forces was activated to deal with the impact to Bayer resulting from the war that had started in Ukraine. The main objective was to ensure that all Bayer employees and their families would be cared for, irrespective of whether they remained in Ukraine or were forced to leave the country.
Find out more in the latest sustainability report, page 124.