Bayer Corporation announced that its 21,500 U.S. employees were successful in making 2002 the company’s safest year yet. Bayer’s performance was measured according to safety and health standards set by the federal government and followed by industry throughout the country as a means of understanding the relative safety of a workplace.
In 2000, Bayer Corporation ranked second in safety among large U.S. companies in the chemical industry, which itself is recognized as the safest industry in the country. In 2001, Bayer was recognized as the third safest. The national 2002 figures for the chemical industry are not yet available.
Bayer Corporation, the U.S. subsidiary of Bayer AG, with 46 facilities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico, had a TRIR (Total Recordable Incidence Rate) of just 1.09 in 2002.
TRIR is the Occupational Safety and Health Administration standard for worker safety. It measures the number of employees with work-related illnesses and injuries per 200,000 work hours annually. Previously, Bayer scored its best safety record in 2000 with a TRIR of 1.15. In 2001, the corporation’s TRIR was 1.41.
According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), an industry trade group, the chemical industry is the safest American industry by far. The overall TRIR for manufacturing companies stands at about 9, more than four times higher than the average ACC member company TRIR of 2.03 in 2001.
Bayer attributes its safety success to tapping the combined intelligence of the real experts — those closest to the work. The corporation emphasizes proactive safety programs. Bayer’s Near Hit Program, for example, encourages employees to identify potential work hazards and devise corrective solutions. During 2002, nearly 11,000 findings were reported, allowing employees to take corrective action before injuries could occur. Implementation of a structured safety process and use of root cause analysis also helped make the difference.
In October 2002, Bayer received the ACC’s Responsible Care Leadership Award. The honor is bestowed annually to the company that demonstrates the highest degree of excellence in implementing ACC’s Responsible Care standards for excellence in health, safety and environmental performance.
Headquartered in Pittsburgh, Bayer Corporation had sales of $10.1 billion in 2001 and is one of Fortune magazine’s Most Admired Companies. It is a member of the worldwide Bayer Group, a $27 billion international health care and chemicals group based in Leverkusen, Germany. Bayer’s four operating companies -- CropScience, Chemicals, HealthCare and Polymers -- produce a broad range of products that help diagnose and treat diseases, purify water, preserve local landmarks, protect crops, advance automobile safety and durability and improve people’s lives.