Occupational Health and Safety

As a global chemical company and a responsible employer, Clariant is strongly committed to promoting and protecting a healthy culture in the workplace. Zero accidents worldwide is the goal Clariant aims to achieve. Therefore, processes regarding occupational safety are top priorities to protect Clariant’s employees, ensure seamless manufacturing operations, and meet legal requirements and regulations at any time. Aside from observing health protection, meeting safety requirements is paramount for staff morale, labor costs, and productivity, as well as operational costs.

Management approach

Management approach

Occupational Health and Safety at Clariant is managed globally by the Environmental Safety and Health Affairs (ESHA) department. In addition, the company has appointed ESHA experts worldwide who are responsible for Occupational Health and Safety in all countries and across all business units. All measures apply to all employees who work under the direct supervision of a Clariant employee (Clariant full-time employees and supervised workers). This also includes contractors who must follow Clariant’s rules and measures.

To ensure the health and safety of employees, Clariant has a set of principles and guidelines in place. They are accessible online in the Group Management System (GMS) database for the employees in various languages. The ISO 45001 standard, which formulates requirements for an Occupational Health and Safety management system, is authoritative. Clariant made the transition from the current OSHAS 18001 certification to ISO 45001 in 2020. In 2022, audits were carried out in accordance with ISO 45001. The certificate confirming complianceComplianceCompliance is a key element of Corporate Governance. It refers to compliance with the law and directives as well as with company codes and ethical business practices and behaviors.View entire glossary with the standard is available on the Clariant website.

Further guidelines cover a variety of safety issues, such as fire and explosion protection, the handling of hazardous substances, and the identification of risks in chemical production. In addition, Clariant adheres to the precautionary principle when it comes to risks that have not yet been fully clarified scientifically. The safety of employees and the work environment is also anchored in Clariant’s sustainability policy.

Goals and measures

Goals and measures

Clariant aims to achieve a zero accidents culture and be a leader in safety in the chemical industry. Progress in this area is linked to the bonuses of management, and safety is integrated into the daily routines of all operations. In 2022, Clariant decided to move from LTAR, as bonus-relevant metric, to DART (Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred). This increases the focus on smaller events in addition to the more severe lost-time accidents, which helps to establish a zero-accident culture.

In 2022, the overall health and safety performance at Clariant’s sites declined slightly. The total number of lost-time accidents rose from 23 in 2021 to 29 in 2022. In addition, 9 lost-time accidents occurred involving contractors, which is a strong decrease compared to 17 accidents in 2021. First aid was required for 83 % of all recorded injuries; 12 % needed medical treatment; and 5 % of recorded injuries were restricted work cases. The most frequent injury types in 2022 were open wounds (24 %); sprains, bruises, and contusions (24 %); bone fractures (14 %); and chemical burns (14 %). Burn injuries, internal injuries, poisonings, and injuries by foreign bodies each accounted for 3 %. There were no limb losses or injuries due to electrical incidents.

The lost-time accident rate (LTAR) of 0.24 accidents per 200 000 hours of work rose compared to 2021. The total number of lost workdays decreased significantly from 974 in 2021 to 712 in 2022, representing a decrease of 27 %. This indicates that job-related injuries were less severe in 2022 than in 2021. Accordingly, the lost-workday rate (LWDR) decreased from 7.3 workdays lost per 200 000 hours of work in 2021 to 5.89 workdays lost per 200 000 hours of work in 2022.

There were no fatalities as a result of work-related ill health in 2022.

For 2022, Clariant defined the DART rate (the Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred), which includes Lost-Time Accidents and Restricted Work cases. With the definition of this new indicator, Clariant increases the insights into the accident occurrence even more to decrease the total number. The milestones are defined on the Group and business unit/service unit level for the calendar year. The DART rate rose from 0.34 in 2021 to 0.39 in 2022.

Work-related injuries 1

    Total 2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
Number of fatalities as a result of work-related injury   0   0   0   0   0
Rate of fatalities as a result of work-related injury (per 200 000 hours)   0   0   0   0   0
Number of high-consequence work-related injuries (excluding fatalities)   0   2   2   0   1
Rate of high-consequence work-related injuries (excluding fatalities) (per 200 000 hours)   0   0.01   0.01   0   0.005
Number of recordable work-related injuries   97   141   157   232   248
Rate of recordable work-related injuries (per 200 000 hours)   0.80   1.00   0.95   1.21   1.31
Number of hours worked   24 196 000   28 440 000   33 262 000   38 556 000   37 796 000
1 Information about »not employees« (e.g. contractors) are not in the same way gathered like »all employees« (own workers and supervised workers) due to medical data privacy.

Occupational accidents

    Continuing operations   Discontinued operations   Total 2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
Lost-time accidents 1   29   n.a.   29   23   26   28   27
Male   27   n.a.   27   21   26   27   27
Female   2   n.a.   2   2   0   1   0
Lost-time accident rate (LTAR) 2   0.24   n.a.   0.24   0.16   0.16   0.15   0.14
Male   0.22   n.a.   0.22   0.15   0.16   0.14   0.14
Female   0.02   n.a.   0.02   0.01   0.00   0   0.00
Lost-time accident rate (LTAR)2 for contractors   0.30   n.a.   0.30   0.30   0.14   0.22   0.24
Lost-time accidents by supervised (non-Clariant) workers (included in the overall number of occupational accidents)   6   n.a.   6   1   1   1   6
Male   6   n.a.   6   1   1   1   6
Female   0   n.a.   0   0   0   0   0
Lost workdays (LWDs) caused by occupational accidents   712   n.a.   712   974 3   1 229   661   879
Male   709   n.a.   709   962 3   1 229   648   874
Female   3   n.a.   3   12   0   13   5
Lost workday rate (LWDR)   5.89   n.a.   5.89   6.85   7.39   3.43   4.68
Number of cases of recordable work-related ill health   0 4   n.a.   0 4   0   0   3   1
1 Number of occupational accidents with at least one day’s work lost
2 Occupational accidents with at least one day’s work lost relative to 200 000 hours of work
3 279 lost workdays (LWDs) from 2019 and 2020 incidents
4 In 2022, there were no fatalities as a result of work-related ill health.


graphic: Clariant: rates of lost time injury from 2007 to 2022
Tracking health and safety

Tracking health and safety

Safety performance and initiative updates have been integrated as a standing agenda item in every Executive Leadership TeamExecutive Leadership TeamThe Executive Leadership Team (ELT) consists of the Executive Steering Committee (ESC) along with the Chief Human Resources Officer, the Chief Technology & Sustainability Officer, the Chief Corporate Development Officer, and the General Counsel. By bringing all key functions together, Clariant ensures fast decision-making while incorporating all internal stakeholders’ needs. The ELT supports the ESC by promoting dialogue among its members, exchange of information and enabling awareness of the Group’s environment.View entire glossary  (ELT) meeting, during which all DART events and the overall company performance are reviewed and corrective actions are discussed. One of the consequences has been the introduction of an alert system alerting the business unit heads about any DART event in their business unit within 24 hours of the event, as well as a call from the ESHA responsible to provide more insights into the accident within 7 days of the event.

Clariant utilizes dashboards for Occupational Health and Safety reporting. All sites are obliged to report an accident resulting in loss of work immediately. This concerns cases where the affected employee cannot work for at least one day and cases of restricted work. For these cases, investigation reports are mandatory.

COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 pandemic

In 2022, protecting the health of all employees again has been a top priority for Clariant. Due to the pandemic Clariant had developed more than 30 different response scenarios to react to possible developments. In 2022, many safety measures and hygiene protocols were still in place at the beginning of the year. During the course of the year, various measures were revoked or relaxed, depending on the local situation. The option to work from home remained in place. Testing, wearing masks, and observing safety distance were common precautionary measures throughout the year.

Occupational Health and Safety programs and training

Occupational Health and Safety programs and training

Occupational safety at Clariant means much more than just wearing the necessary protective equipment. It is a commitment to address safety comprehensively and to ensure that employees come home from work as healthy as when they arrived. To increase awareness of its employees globally, Clariant carries out various trainings and awareness measures every year. In more than 150 locations worldwide, Clariant organized safety weeks in the reporting year. For the more than 120 safety weeks executed in 2022, Clariant provided an information hub with ideas and training modules besides the regular trainings in the different units.

The company continued introducing the Six Life-Saving Rules first presented in 2021. Every worker at Clariant must be aware of Clariant’s Life-Saving Rules. They are part of the Code of EthicsCode of EthicsThe Code of Ethics is laying down Clariant’s commitments and is intended to be a guide with ethical principles and examples to enable all personnel and associated parties to act with the highest standards of integrity.View entire glossary and must be complied with. Witnesses to a breach of these rules should immediately notify the line manager or ESHA.

In addition, in 2022, the company conducted work permit checks to improve the quality of the work and, thus, safety.

Protection against health hazards

Protection against health hazards

Clariant’s internal guideline »Protection from Hazards to Health« serves to prevent work-related illnesses and regulates the identification of work-related health hazards for all workplaces. The guideline includes defined review criteria and cycles. The Sub­stitution, Technical measures, Organizational, and Personal (STOP) principle defines the hierarchy of measures to be taken to prevent incidents. It must be applied to the control measures. A comprehensive audit system ensures quality and triggers con­tinuous improvements.


graphic: Clariant: 6 rules for a safe working environment at Clariant

Handouts on Occupational Health and Safety-related topics

As part of the »Safety Moments« initiative, more than 375 illustrated handouts have been created for employees at Clariant and the training on Occupational Health and Safety-related topics – from operations to administration – since 2017. These are presented and discussed, for example, at the beginning of meetings and can be accessed via an internal platform. At the end of 2022, there were more than 300 »Safety Moments.«

Reporting near misses and unsafe situations

Reporting near misses and unsafe situations

To report unsafe situations and near-miss incidents, Clariant’s employees can either approach their supervisors directly, submit a report using »Safety Counts!« cards, or utilize an online system at some sites. If employees identify a hazardous situation, they are permitted and encouraged to stop the activity and report to their supervisor. After a work-related incident, Clariant conducts an investigation to identify corrective actions to avoid recurrence. Specific methodologies are provided and described in Clariant’s investigation guide. According to internal processes, Lost-Time Accident and Restricted Work case reports are only closed if an appropriate investigation report is available and filed. The decision to close a report is made at the Group level by an assigned member of Corporate ESHA. In 2022, the numbers for unsafe situations and near misses stayed at a high level, which shows the high interest in and awareness of safety.

Global program for safe working conditions

Global program for safe working conditions

AvoidingAccidents@Clariant is a global program that creates safe work environments, raises awareness of safety, and illustrates Clariant’s focus on prevention. Under the umbrella of the program, Clariant rolled out multifaceted trainings and tools to achieve the zero-accidents objective. These include, for example, safe behavior trainings, safety leadership improvements, safety checks, safety days, and safety weeks. Since the start of the program in 2007, the lost-time accident rate (LTAR) has decreased from 0.92 to 0.24 in 2022, as can be seen in Figure 013.

Learning Management System (LMS)

Learning Management System (LMS)

Clariant has a Learning Management System (LMS) that is used to provide, steer, and monitor various programs such as Occupational Health and Safety-related e-Learnings, webinars, and workshops. Additionally, there are special trainings regarding work-related hazards, hazardous activities, and potential hazardous situations. Additionally, there are special trainings provided by the respective plant and the building management regarding work-related hazards. These trainings are customized and depend on the jobs to be performed.

Hazard identification, risk assessment, and incident investigation

Hazard identification, risk assessment, and incident investigation

Workplace assessment

Workplace assessment

As part of Clariant’s audit program, internal experts from Corporate ESHA and Integrated Group System Management (IGSM) regularly visit sites to review workplace and process safety standards. To do this, they evaluate the facilities and determine corrective actions to address the main risks. Process Hazard Analyses (PHAs) are conducted regularly by competent personnel at the sites. Clariant established a Process Safety Academy to enhance the standard. This one-week training delivered theory and also practical knowledge on relevant Process Safety topics, facilitating a better implementation of the Process Safety standards at the sites. PHAs are reviewed at least every five years and updated as changes occur. If a change is implemented in a facility, change management procedures ensure that this change is assessed and controlled to avoid risks.

To protect employees from work-related hazards, each workplace undergoes a systematic, multistep assessment. This includes workplace ergonomics, lighting, noise, indoor air quality, humidity, and temperature. If a workplace falls below defined minimum requirements, Clariant takes measures to redesign that workplace.

Employee health checks

Employee health checks

At certain workplaces, Clariant carries out regular comprehensive employee health checks. The objective is to detect signs of illness as early as possible. Clariant takes care to obtain special health certificates and to carry out vaccinations that are required for some jobs. Medical professionals anonymously report problems identified during employee personal health checks. Depending on local laws, these reports are addressed to the local ESHA organization or the appropriate area. The reported information is used to review mandatory workplace risk assessments in accordance with the guideline »Protection from Hazards to Health.« Clariant ensures medical confidentiality.

Worker participation, consultation, and communication on Occupational Health and Safety

Worker participation, consultation, and communication on Occupational Health and Safety

Ninety-six percent of staff employed in production are represented by a safety committee. Considering the whole workforce (production, procurement, sales, and management), 88 % of staff are represented. At Clariant, safety issues are also addressed in committees that do not primarily deal with this topic. In case internal standards need to be modified or updated, a working group is established. The resulting draft is sent to the different stakeholders in Clariant’s business units and regions to solicit feedback. Feedback and requests for revisions are duly considered before the standard is finalized and approved. The relevant information is subsequently published in the Group Management System (GMS) database and on SharePoint.

Employees covered by an occupational health and safety management system

    Total 2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
Percentage of employees covered by an Occupational Health and Safety management system (%)   100 1   100   100   100   100
Percentage of employees covered by an Occupational Health and Safety management system that has been internally audited (%)   100 1   100   100   100   100
Percentage of employees covered by an Occupational Health and Safety management system that has been externally audited or certified (%)   100 1   100   100   100   100
1 The value includes all employees: 12 098 own employees + 1 034 supervised workers.

Occupational accidents by region

  2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
    Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female
Occupational accidents with at least one day’s work lost   27   2   21   2   26   0   27   1   27   0
Europe, the Middle East, and Africa   16   2   17   2   18   0   15   0   14   0
Asia-Pacific   3   0   0   0   1   0   1   0   2   0
Latin America   7   0   2   0   6   0   4   1   7   0
North America   1   0   2   0   1   0   7   0   4   0

Occupational accidents of contractors

  2022   2021   2020   2019   2018
    Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female   Male   Female
Occupational accidents of contractors, with at least one day’s work lost   9   0   12   1   6   0   10   0   10   0
Europe, the Middle East, and Africa   6   0   8   1   3   0   4   0   5   0
Asia-Pacific   0   0   3   0   1   0   3   0   1   0
Latin America   3   0   1   0   2   0   3   0   4   0
North America   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0