This year, the Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie (BG RCI - raw materials and chemistry trade association) "Work·Safety·Health" award for the Chemistry Industry sector went to PCI Augsburg GmbH. The award ceremony took place on 16th May in the Old Opera House in Frankfurt, Germany. With prizes totalling €100,000, this is the largest occupational health and safety award in Germany. It is presented to people who use their creative ideas to develop a safe and healthy work environment - and carry on this commitment.
This is the seventeenth year of the "Health and Safety Oscars" as it is known among industry insiders. Individuals or teams, entrepreneurs or apprentices, users or manufacturers - anyone can participate. This time a team from PCI Augsburg GmbH emerged as the winners of the Chemical Industry sector: Horst Sprenzinger, Master of PCI's Technical Centre, Klaus Walser, PCI's Safety Officer, and the owner of an external metal construction company which participated in the project.
Solution for increased safety on high altitude work platforms
The prize was awarded to a solution for loading a high altitude platform safely with raw material pallets. "This option has proved to be ideal where existing standard solutions are not practical due to the local conditions," explains Klaus Walser one of the award winners. The PCI Safety Officer noticed the fall protection system without an electrical switch during a safety walkabout in his own company. The purely mechanical setup ensures that when you open the gate, the area in question is cordoned off in a reliable and tamper-proof manner. Horst Sprenzinger, Master of PCI's Technical Centre, had developed this solution in partnership with his team and an external metal construction company and successfully put it into operation in the process technology area of the Technical Centre.
Safety as an integral part of everyday life
Each year in the run-up to the "Work·Safety·Health" contest, the BG RCI requests entrants to send in and present their contributions for improving health and safety at work. Among other things, awards can be presented for innovative safety solutions, operational activities for improving health and safety in the workplace, ideas for improving traffic safety, organisational and motivational concepts, practical solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises, or even safe machinery and tools. "Awareness of all aspects of occupational safety has long been second nature to us at PCI," says Klaus Walser. "Our 'safety champions' initiative has had a long-lasting effect." This 'safety champions' initiative was originally introduced within the BASF Group as a long-term campaign as far back as 2008 in order to improve the safety culture. Specific proposals, targeted training programmes and global safety days are intended to strengthen the feeling of responsibility of the individual and improve the dialogue with one another to create a safe working environment.
From fall protection to award-winning solution
However, it was a long way from the discovery of the fall protection technology in the PCI Technical Centre to the award-winning solution. "Within the BASF Group it is common for best practice examples to be presented to other areas," says award winner Klaus Walser, explaining the rest of the development process. "A presentation was therefore also created for this solution and it was submitted for the BG RCI award in addition to internal competitions." The fall protection system is explained in detail in an online video clip specially produced by BG RCI in connection with the awards ceremony available at: http://www.bgrci-foerderpreis.de/index.aspx
PCI Augsburg GmbH - in 2011, it introduced the "safety champions" initiative of its parent company BASF and it has now been awarded the 2014 "Work•Safety•Health" prize by the Berufsgenossenschaft Rohstoffe und chemische Industrie (BG RCI) for the Chemistry Industry sector.
Without adequate fall protection this type of work poses a safety risk for employees: lifting operations on high-altitude work platforms.