Sustainable Development Goals – Goal 3 (logo)

The challenge to improve further in occupational safety

 Solvay's 2025 priority target is an MTAR (Medical Treatment Accident Rate) lower than 0.5, continuous improvement in Solvay employee safety, and a halving of the accident numbers recorded on our sites. Solvay's main focus is on the MTAR because this indicator takes into account the actual severity of accidents and does not depend on the local legal context (or practices of adapted work), which does, however, influence the Lost Time Accident Rate (LTAR) indicator.

  • MTAR: number of work accidents leading to medical treatment other than first aid per million working hours.
  • LTAR: number of work accidents with lost time (away from work) of more than one day per million working hours.

Solvay’s strategic objectives:



Halve the number of accidents involving medical treatment and reach an MTAR of 0.5

Occupational Accidents at Group Sites








Scope: All sites (including recently acquired Cytec in 2016) in Solvay's operational control for which the Group manages and monitors safety performance. This represents 235 manufacturing, R&I, administrative and closed sites - Solvay employees and contractors working on sites. The recently acquired Cytec activities have been included as from 2016.

Medical Treatment Accident Rate (MTAR)







Lost Time Accident Rate (LTAR)







Unfortunately, one fatal accident occurred in 2016 in a lift at a production facility in India.

In order to best ensure the safety of its employees and earn a spot amongst the industry’s top players, Solvay has set an ambitious new MTAR target for 2025 and will strengthen its implementation of the Solvay Life-Saving Rules introduced in 2015.

Safety excellence plan

The Group safety excellence plan has been deployed since 2015. It pursues three key courses of action with the goal of further reducing the MTAR and preventing any high severity accident:

  • Deployment of Health, Safety, and Environment (HSE) roadmaps in every unit
  • Clear communication of management expectations
  • Development of a safety mindset.

All global business units (GBUs) and sites have defined their dedicated HSE roadmap and have implemented a range of good safety practices, in particular:

  • safety days (163 sites in 2016)
  • formalized behavioral safety programs (146 sites in 2016)
  • commitment by all managers to promote safety (leadership safety visits program: 1,580 LSV in 2016), together with safety tours, modeling exemplary behavior, and visibly implementing safety measures
  • enforcement of Solvay Life-Saving Rules (started in 2015), to prevent fatalities and high-severity accidents

The Group is making the reporting and investigation of near misses a standard process, focusing particularly on those with a potential for serious injuries. In 2016, 423 near misses were reported.

In 2017, it will also launch a series of actions on preventing hand injuries (training, sharing of best practices, and risk awareness), as these represent 50% of total Medical Treatment Accidents (MTA) and their prevalence has increased since the integration of Cytec.

Industrial hygiene and occupational health

Industrial hygiene

To control potential exposure to chemicals, by 2020 Solvay aims to complete all risk assessments at the workplace and manage them using the new Solvay standards for industrial hygiene. Hence, the Industrial Hygiene program relies on the following measures, with a particular focus on substances of very high concern:

  • chemical inventories, with a special focus on the substances of very high concern that have a detrimental impact on people's health (Solvay Health-SVHC);
  • standardized and effective tools for screening potential risk of overexposure to chemicals: CTES (Critical Tasks Exposure Screening) is used to quickly spot situations where exposure to chemicals requires special attention and additional control measures
  • risk assessment for identified potentially critical situations and for all potential exposure to Solvay Health-SVHC substances;
  • a new Solvay application (SOCRATES), giving wide and easy access via the Intranet to all methods, tools, and databases.

Advanced health surveillance for employees

Solvay pursues a voluntary objective of ensuring that medical surveillance, most often ensured by external medical services, follows Solvay evolving standards. In particular, Solvay's advanced policy requires that the periodic medical surveillance of every employee is increasingly adapted to individual health risk profiles, with particular attention to SVHC, noise, and safety-sensitive jobs. Such risk profiles are established in the framework of the in-house Group program for industrial hygiene. This Solvay program, and the standardized assessment of workstations, has been leading the way for years amongst industry peers.

As a prerequisite, health teams working for Solvay need access to occupational hygiene data. Interfaces between the information tools used by health teams and the new Solvay hygiene IT tool and data, at every site, are an important element of the program. An increasing proportion of sites and medical teams are equipped to perform such advanced medical surveillance, based on Solvay's standardized industrial hygiene assessments.

Solvay’s objective:



of sites with an advanced risk-based medical surveillance

Health and industrial hygiene programs

In %







Scope: All sites under operational control.

Industrial Hygiene program: sites where hygiene specialists have been trained to new industrial hygiene standards







Advanced Health Monitoring program: sites with advanced risk based medical surveillance







The pullback in 2016 of both programs is linked to the integration of Cytec, which will start implementing Solvay's standards in 2017.

Solvay's SVHC list includes all substances that are either:

  • Carcinogenic, Mutagenic, or Toxic to Reproduction (CMR), and that meet the criteria for classification in accordance with the new Regulation on the Global Harmonized System, known as the "GHS" Regulation
  • Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic (PBT), or very Persistent and very Bioaccumulative (vPvB)
  • identified, on a case-by-case basis and through scientific evidence, as probably causing serious effects to human health or the environment that is of an equivalent level of concern to those above.