Number of injuries in the chemical industry fell below key threshold in 2011.Responsible Care programme – 20 years at the forefront of sustainable development
In 2011, there were fewer than nine injuries per one million working hours in the chemical industry. Significant results have been achieved in the two decades the Responsible Care programme has been in effect. New priorities have been set as the programme moves into its third decade. The 2011 results of the chemical industry’s Responsible Care programme have now been published.
The journey towards zero injuries continues
Only 8.7 injuries per one million working hours occurred in companies participating in the Responsible Care programme. This figure can be considered a significant achievement in Finnish industry. The goal set by the chemical industry companies is zero injuries. In the two decades the Responsible Care programme has been in effect, the frequency of injuries in the chemical industry has fallen by 80%.
Everyone in the chemical industry receives continuous training. The reduction of injuries is the result of voluntary investments into occupational safety and staff education. Over 2,500 training sessions on the environment, health and safety were held in these companies in 2011. This was 25% more compared to 2010. Of all companies committed to the Responsible Care programme, 75% used an occupational safety card in 2011.
Focuses on the pulse of time
Chemical industry’s international Responsible Care programme is the oldest voluntary programme supporting sustainable development in any industry. The programme has been in effect for twenty years in Finland.
During this time, acidifying air emissions in proportion to production have fallen by 80% and volatile organic compound emissions by 70%. Discharges of eutrophication compounds to water have decreased by about 50% and potentially ecotoxic compounds to water by approximately 90%. Occupational safety in the Finnish chemical industry is top of the league at the national level, and average on a European scale.
The key areas of the Responsible Care programme are subject to continuous development. In the 2010s, the central themes are the sustainable use of resources, energy and material efficiency, the safe production and well-being of employees, responsibility for products throughout their life cycle and open cooperation with interest groups. The results will be achieved by companies’ everyday activity.
Cooperation brings results
Regular reporting is a central element of the Responsible Care programme. The report containing data from 2011 was published on 12 April 2011.
Over a hundred Finnish companies from various fields of the chemical industry are committed to the Responsible Care programme. Together these companies employ over 20,000 people. The data covers over 80% of the chemical industry production in Finland. Responsible Care is cooperation that brings results. The Chemical Industry Federation coordinates the programme in Finland, and the trade unions participating in the monitoring and developing of the programme are the Industrial Union Team, Trade Union Pro and the Federation of Professional and Managerial Staff (YTN).
Chemical Industry Federation of Finland
Aimo Kastinen, Director, tel. +358 9 1728 4320 or +358 400 604 348.
Sami Nikander, Assistant Director, +358 9 1728 4258 or +358 40 567 4413
Further information on the Responsible Care programme and the makers behind the results can be found at www.chemind.fi/rc20_en