Health & safety

Our employees are our greatest asset and we want to ensure we not only respect and nurture them, but keep them safe. Health and safety (H&S) has been defined as one of our three corporate values, and strong H&S processes are essential to maintain our license to operate as a chemical manufacturing business.

Our environmental, health and safety (EHS) team oversee our EHS strategy by conducting audits of our operations, addressing remediation issues at our sites and assuring overall compliance. Our EHS efforts are further divided among our business units: Consumer Microbial Control (CMC), Industrial Microbial Control (IMC), and Nutrition, Care and Environmental (NCE). Our CMC and IMC units have a shared EHS approach with their own segment staff, while our NCE segment has a separate EHS team. These teams report into our group operations function and are primarily responsible for managing the day-to-day H&S activities at our sites and facilities. By establishing clear lines of responsibility and oversight at both the corporate and business unit levels, we are effectively managing and promoting a H&S culture throughout our organization, poising us to achieve our global H&S goals.

By 2030, we aim to achieve:

Below 0.3

Total Recordable Injury Rate[1] (TRIR)

Below 0.1
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)

[1] An injury or illness is considered a recordable incident if it results in any of the following: death, days away from work, restricted work or transfer to another job, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness. Additionally, a significant injury or illness diagnosed by a physician or other licensed healthcare professional is considered a recordable incident, even if it does not result in death, days away from work, restricted work or job transfer, medical treatment beyond first aid, or loss of consciousness.

Our health & safety performance

At the end of 2021 and into 2022, we launched the Safer Together at Arxada initiative to improve the safety of our operations. The initiative comprises eight themes and focuses on safety culture and reporting discipline. The anticipated result of the increased knowledge and awareness around H&S incidents and reporting was an increase in the number of incidents reported by our facilities. In 2022, we continue to focus on both reporting and managing our TRIR, TRFR and LTIFR. Read more about our Safer Together at Arxada program and our efforts to identify root causes of H&S incidents to prevent reoccurrence below.

Arxada’s 2022 health & safety performance







Total Recordable Incident Rates (TRIR)
Total Recordable Fatality Rates (TRFR)
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)

Safer Together at Arxada

As stated above, our Safer Together at Arxada initiative reaffirms and further integrates the H&S culture at Arxada. Launched by our corporate EHS team, the Safer Together at Arxada program focuses on our values of safety and health, ethical behavior, and respect for people and planet. The program aims to engage all employees to work collaboratively and foster new leadership behaviors in safety; it also acts as a key driver for our 2030 H&S goal. Safer Together at Arxada emphasizes the importance of bringing people together locally and globally, encouraging collaboration and the sharing of learnings and best practices.

The program was rolled out globally with the support of our units and all operating regions. It is built around eight themes related to safety management.

1. EHS aspirations and purpose
2. Organizational philosophy and principles
3. Serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) foundations
4. Operating discipline
5. Infrastructure and mechanical integrity
6. Management of change – people
7. Employee engagement
8. Leadership behaviors

In 2022, we engaged a wide range of employees in the rollout of our program through various digital and in-person channels, including targeted webinars, workshops, and discussions involving team members at all levels of the business. We also hosted more than 20 seminars on safety leadership behaviors, which were attended by over 200 leaders ranging from senior executives to front-line supervisors.

In November 2022, we conducted a survey that showed 80% of all our employees were already familiar with the program and 68% were already seeing a positive impact. Additionally, our survey showed that 92% of all employees see themselves committed to the new EHS aspiration and purpose statement that was developed and communicated by a global team as part of this roll out effort.

Arxada will advance the safety of every employee, every task, every day, and protect the environment we touch.

As part of efforts to implement Safer Together across Arxada, we also revised and updated 21 internal safety-related policies and procedures to ensure strong support for our new purpose of using better science to solve the world’s toughest preservation challenges. In 2023, we will continue rolling out the program across our global operations, focusing on office-based employees.

Creating a health & safety culture

Our strategy aims to embed an awareness of H&S measures in our corporate culture. We want our employees to understand the importance of H&S and live our safety and health value in their everyday actions to ensure they are kept safe.

To enable this, each employee has an annual performance goal related to H&S. Together with the employee’s manager, this goal is tailored to take into consideration the employee’s job responsibilities, working environment, and their contribution to Arxada’s broader regional and global H&S goals.

In addition to the annual performance goal, every employee completes H&S related training on an annual basis. All our employees are required to complete basic H&S training, including all relevant standard operating procedures for the processes performed by the individual. For example, some office-based and sales employees may be required to receive training on topics such as our policy on using phones when driving, while those who work with chemicals receive training on the safe and lawful handling of chemicals. Additionally, some employees complete theoretical and practical exams over longer time intervals. By providing tailored training to our employees, we are ensuring that they are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to work safely and effectively in their roles. Employees also regularly participate in emergency response drills specific to each site.

Management & auditing of sites

The corporate group EHS team is responsible for regularly auditing all our sites, ensuring that site-level EHS practices comply with regional laws and our own policies. This also allows us to mitigate EHS-related risks and implement measures to standardize practices globally.

In addition to following regulatory auditing requirements, we follow a risk-based auditing system, grouping our sites into risk categories that determine the frequency of their auditing. At a minimum, every site is audited every three years. Depending on the outcome of an audit, a site may be classified as higher-risk and be audited more frequently.

During audits, we assess our sites based on their risk management systems and performance (S&P), and compliance with a range of EHS-related issues, including H&S measures, emergency preparedness and response, and the handling, storage, and disposal of waste. In the US, for example, our sites must ensure compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards. In addition to these broader topics, we also conduct assessments for industrial hygiene and personal protective equipment to ensure the safety of our employees.

When new facilities become part of Arxada, we conduct a separate EHS gap assessment in addition to our regular auditing process. This assessment is designed to identify areas where current practices may need to be improved or established to meet our standards. After completing the assessment, our EHS teams work with the evaluated sites to discuss the findings and develop an action roadmap for the next 12 to 18 months to address any identified weaknesses. By proactively identifying and addressing potential EHS issues, we are ensuring that all our sites operate in a safe, compliant, and sustainable manner.

In 2022, we carried out 19 audits and assessments across the 28 sites included in our global audit program.

Arxada site audits 2022

Risk management plans and process safety management audits
Environmental, health and safety S&P audits
EHS gap assessments

Events & incidents

While we are working hard to maintain a rigorous and comprehensive H&S culture in our business and at all our sites, incidents can happen. When an incident does occur, we learn from it and put measures in place to prevent it from reoccurring through two specific approaches:

  1. Root cause analysis: Using the definitions of the Center for Chemical Process Safety (CCPS) for leading and lagging process safety metrics, we request a root cause analysis for every registered Tier 1 and 2 incident.[1] [2]
    Using root cause analysis, we can understand why an accident occurred and implement measures to prevent it from occurring again. In 2022, we have been working to align this methodology across all our global operations. To broaden the reach and effectiveness of our root cause analysis, the analysis itself, including the cause mapping, is shared with all EHS and site managers during a global monthly call. This allows us to implement our learnings from one incident on a global scale.
  2. Serious Injuries and Fatalities (SIF) program: As part of our Safer Together at Arxada program, we implemented a SIF program and integrated this into our corporate H&S processes. As part of this, SIF training was carried out at manufacturing sites globally, and we are committed to thoroughly investigating all registered incidents and examining their potential to cause acute injury or fatalities. By actively engaging our employees and managers in this process, we aim to identify and eliminate any potential sources of serious harm at our operations.

[1] Leading metrics are a forward-looking set of metrics that indicate the performance of the key work processes, operating discipline, or protection layers that help prevent potential incidents. Lagging metrics are a retrospective set of metrics based on incidents that meet an established threshold of severity.

[2] Tier 1 incidents are described as catastrophic and exceed a defined threshold level, whereas a Tier 2 incident is used to normalize the industry metrics and provide a minimum and upper limit threshold range.

Looking forward to 2023

In addition to continuing the roll-out of our Safer Together at Arxada program and auditing new and existing sites in 2023, we plan to integrate wellbeing and mental health more formally into our overall H&S approach. This will be intricately connected to our employee engagement and community involvement efforts. By addressing both physical and mental health, we will create a comprehensive approach to H&S that promotes the overall wellbeing of our workforce.


Promoting a strong safety culture at Lake Charles, USA

Our Lake Charles facility in Westlake (LA, USA), is a flagship example of Arxada’s H&S culture. The site produces hydrazine products for our Nutrition, Care and Environmental business segment and has been recognized for its outstanding H&S performance.

Over the last 26 years, there has been no Lost Time Injury incident at the site and the previous OSHA recordable injury occurred in early 2011, demonstrating an exceptional safety record. This is especially important to us as hydrazine needs to be handled with care to avoid negative health consequences.

The team at Lake Charles understands the importance of handling hydrazine carefully and fostering a safety culture of looking after each other. Employees at the site regularly review and adapt their own and their colleagues’ work procedures to make processes safer. New hires at Lake Charles complete intensive training focused on H&S to ensure a good understanding of the safety procedures and risks associated with handling hydrazine and other materials.