The main risk during the transport of products and materials for Solvay’s operations is the risk of having a catastrophic off-site accident with potential impact on people, environment, and reputation.


Medium accidents


High or Catastrophic accidents

In 2017, the program to reinforce preventive actions initiated in the last two years has been pursued. These preventive actions, combined with reactive actions after accidents, and an efficient emergency response, have contributed to master the risk of a catastrophic accident during transport.

Management approach

Selection of logistics service providers for dangerous goods/hazardous materials

The global selection process for the transport of dangerous goods is a part of the Solvay’s “Red Line” for the Supply Chain: “Only Solvay’s approved logistics service providers, those listed in the purchasing supplier list, may be used.” The selection process for dangerous goods mainly addresses road transport, which is the predominant transport mode, and bulk sea transport.

  • Road transport: Health, Safety and Environment qualification procedures have been adopted in each zone, relying on existing schemes, such as the Safety Quality Assessment System in Europe or the Road Safety Quality Assessment System in Asia Pacific/China.
  • Bulk sea transport of dangerous products: Solvay has developed its own system for rating bulk sea transporters based on Chemical Distribution Institute reports. For dry products and container shipments, Solvay relies on the Port State Control system, avoiding ships that have been detained in the past three years.
  • Barge transport: In the Europe, Middle East and Asia zone, Solvay also relies on the European Barge Inspection Scheme for inspecting chemical barges operating on inland waterways in Europe.

Transport Solvay Advisers (TSA) Network

An internal global network of qualified personnel in transport safety (Transport Solvay Advisers - TSA) is in place. The main missions of the TSA network are to verify that:

  • All transportation activities, including loading and unloading operations, are in compliance with applicable regulations, industry standards, and company policies.
  • The risk related to loading/unloading operations on Solvay sites is effectively identified, evaluated and managed.
  • An efficient emergency response capability is in place in case an incident occurs during transportation of Solvay hazardous materials.

Solvay’s internal global network of Transport Solvay Advisers (TSA) is submitted to an internal certification process based on nine macro-tasks related to transport safety.

For every macro-task, an e-learning training is available on Solvay’s intranet. TSAs must follow all e-learning trainings and pass the tests.

Learning Lessons

For transport accidents reported at the Group level, transport safety bulletins are developed and distributed throughout the Group, in 15 languages. Additional topics are selected and prepared by Transport Safety experts for issues that are interesting and applicable to the majority of industrial sites. Every accident with severity C (catastrophic) or H (high severity) according to the Solvay reporting scale must be described and explained in a Transport Safety bulletin.

The lessons learnt from these bulletins help organizations take actions to prevent the same kind of accidents recurring elsewhere.


Accidents during transport and distribution according to severity


























Reported transport accidents encompass accidents occurring all along the logistics chain, from the shipping site to the customer’s site, or to the disposal site in the case of waste. The reported events are the incidents that occurred on Solvay premises or those that have been reported by transporters and third parties to Solvay.

Despite an equivalent number of M accidents between 2016 and 2017, the overall severity level has decreased, as neither a level C (catastrophic) nor a level H (high severity) accident was reported in 2017.