Management Report & Annexes | Basic Information About the Group

12.6 Environmental Incidents

Bayer uses the term “environmental incidents” to define incidents in the course of our business activities that result in the release of substances into the environment. Factors that determine whether there is a reporting obligation include, in particular, the nature and quantity of the substance, the amount of damage caused and any consequences for nearby residents. In accordance with our internal voluntary commitment, we report any leakage of substances with a high hazard potential from a quantity of 100 kg upward.

Despite extensive safety precautions and training, it is unfortunately impossible to prevent the occurrence of environmental incidents altogether. In 2013 the number of environmental incidents rose from five to 10, and the number of transport incidents from six to 11. Five of these come under both categories. A detailed description of environmental and transport incidents:

limited assurance

Online annex: 3-12.6-1

Environmental and Transport Incidents [Table 3.12.7-3]
Environment Transport Personal injury
CropScience, India, February 12, 2013
While being transported by ship to India, a big bag containing the product Nativo™ was ripped open owing to the container of another company being inadequately secured. Around 400 kg of the product was dispersed on the ship. The carrier received detailed cleaning and decontamination instructions.
X X No
CropScience, Muskegon, Michigan, United States, February 28, 2013
Methanol gas escaped during routine maintenance. The incident was reported to the authorities, because the locally permitted threshold was exceeded. An accident analysis was performed, the responsible technical staff received appropriate training and the control system was reviewed.
X No

CropScience, Vapi, India, March 13, 2013

A plastic pipe leading to a tank ruptured and 20 m³ of a liquid containing hydrogen chloride (HCl) leaked out. The product was collected and the remnants neutralized.

X No

MaterialScience, Knoxville, Tennessee, United States, April 4, 2013

A fork-lift truck damaged a transport container during loading of the adhesive Desmodur™. Around 225 liters of the product leaked out inside a container and was properly soaked up and disposed of.

X No

MaterialScience, sea route between Brazil and Argentina, April 9, 2013

During routine cleaning of a ship’s tank at sea, 500 metric tons of polyol (non-toxic polyurethane precursor) was accidentally mixed with around 10 metric tons of seawater. This resulted in 35 metric tons of polyol being released into the Atlantic Ocean.

X X No

CropScience, Lubbock, Texas, United States, May 8, 2013

One of six hydrogen chloride tanks on a supplier’s trailer sprung a leak. The cause was initially unknown. An emergency plan was initiated, with around 100 residents living within a radius of 800 m being evacuated as a precaution. Once the leak had been plugged, they were able to return to their homes. Bayer asked the responsible supplier to perform a detailed investigation to analyze the cause of the incident.

X No

CropScience, Kansas City, United States, May 11, 2013

The actuation of a pressure relief valve resulted in approximately 790 kg of ammonia being released into the atmosphere. The cause was the decomposition of a valve seal. This defect was corrected through the use of another, chemically resistant seal.

X No

MaterialScience, Krefeld-Uerdingen, Germany, June 19, 2013

A residue drain valve in a hydrochloric acid line that connected two tank farms and had a maximum fill volume of approximately 20 m³ developed a defect. The line was not in operation at the time. As a result of hydrostatic pressure, the acid leaked out at the location of the defect. The Fire Department prevented any more serious damage by creating a wall of water. It was possible to drain off a large part of the leaked acid into the in-house sewerage system. The embankment of the adjacent internal rail line was contaminated as a result of this incident and was subsequently decontaminated properly.

X   No

MaterialScience, A3 freeway near Neustadt, Germany, June 20, 2013

A traffic accident involving a van and a truck occurred on the A3 freeway. Both vehicles were loaded with Bayer materials. Approximately 3 metric tons of these materials escaped but they were not hazardous. The two injured drivers were taken to hospital and released after a short time. The freeway had to be closed while the debris was cleared away. The regional media visited the scene and reported on the incident.

X Yes

MaterialScience, near Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia, June 26, 2013

A traffic accident resulted in a contractor’s truck overturning and plunging down a 200 m cliff. The driver and co-driver were both killed. Around 9 metric tons of polyol (non-toxic polyurethane precursor) escaped.

X X Yes

MaterialScience, Irving, Texas, United States, July 17, 2013

A transport company reported a leak in a 200-liter metal drum filled with Desmodur™. A drum transporter had accidentally collided with and punctured the drum during loading. Approximately 200 l of the product leaked out. No one was injured and no emissions were released into the environment. A specialist company was brought in to clean up and dispose of the product that had leaked.

X No

CropScience, Guatemala, August 3, 2013

A truck loaded with CropScience products collided with an oncoming truck. The truck that was hit overturned and approximately 290 kg of product leaked onto the road, some of it reaching the roadside ditch. The road was closed for 8 hours. The product and the contaminated soil were removed and disposed of. Investigations revealed that the volume and type of product released did not meet the criteria for an environmental incident.

X No

MaterialScience, Ham/Hasselt, Belgium, August 13, 2013

A tire blowout caused a truck loaded with 22.9 metric tons of polyol (no hazardous materials) to overturn and catch fire on the E313 freeway in Belgium. The driver was not injured. No product leaked out thanks to the tank container’s special leak protection. The fire was put out and the Belgian police made the truck safe.

X No

CropScience, Brazil, September 15, 2013

A truck loaded with CropScience products collided with an oncoming truck. The loaded truck overturned and a large part of the load fell onto the road. A number of drums were so badly damaged that the product leaked onto the road. All necessary measures were taken to prevent any environmental pollution. The undamaged products were returned to the production site (Belford Roxo) and reprocessed. All waste was transported to a waste incineration plant with the help of a specialist company. The road had to be closed for 5 hours.

X No

MaterialScience, Hürth, Germany, October 29, 2013

The driver of a tanker loaded with 30% hydrochloric acid drove too quickly on the way to a customer. The vehicle tipped on its side. Since the tank and its shell were not seriously damaged, only small amounts of hydrochloric acid (less than 50 l) leaked out. The investigation into the precise damage caused is still under way. The driver suffered minor injuries, and was taken to hospital. Six people (first-aiders) were also taken to hospital because they had breathed in the fumes from the hydrochloric acid.

X X Yes

MaterialScience, Hong Kong, December 3, 2013

While a consignment of polyol (non-toxic polyurethane precursor) was being transported to Hong Kong by sea, a leak was discovered in one of the product containers (a flexi bag). Since the threshold of 1,000 kg for the release of non-hazardous products was slightly exceeded (1,123 kg), we classified this as a transport and environmental incident.

X X No

Of the 16 incidents reported, 10 were environmental incidents and 11 transport incidents. Five incidents fell into both categories, resulting in them (intentionally) being counted twice.

Incidents Observed by Stakeholders[Table 3.12.7-4]
The following incidents came to the attention of our stakeholders, but are not classed as environmental or transport incidents according to Bayer criteria.
Location of the incident Description Comments
HealthCare, Lerma, Mexico,
February 24, 2013
Stolen truck A truck loaded with HealthCare products was stolen at a faked vehicle checkpoint near Guadalajara. The driver, assistant and security personnel reported back the next day. The incident was reported to the local authorities.
HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany,
March 10, 2013
Methanol leak Approx. 600 l of methanol leaked in a HealthCare plant. The product was soaked up immediately and incinerated as thermal waste. There was no impact outside the plant.
MaterialScience, Caojing, China,
May 13, 2013
Fatal workplace injury of a contractor’s employee There was a fatal injury during work at a construction site on the Caojing production location. Heavy metal sheets were being lifted and moved using a crane. During this maneuver, one of the sheets escaped from its binding and injured a construction worker so severely that he later died in hospital. Bayer classified this accident in the “Fatal workplace injury” category and subjected it to a thorough accident investigation.
HealthCare, Bitterfeld, Germany,
June 3, 2013
Flooding/disaster alert The Bayer Bitterfeld site was threatened by floodwater. The company established a temporary Emergency Task Force in Bitterfeld which was in contact with the local community’s emergency task force. Appropriate precautions in the plants ensured that this incident had no impact.
MaterialScience, Brunsbüttel, Germany,
September 24, 2013
People injured by carbon monoxide During the start-up of a production facility at the Brunsbüttel production site, carbon monoxide escaped through a leaky underpressure safety feature. Five external employees who were in the immediate vicinity of the leak were taken to the company's Medical Department or to nearby hospitals. They were able to be released the same or the following day. Bayer classified this accident in the “Workplace injury” and “Unsafe plant status (LoPC)” categories, and subjected it to a thorough accident investigation.
HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany,
October 6, 2013
Ruptured water main in the public supply network There was a ruptured water main on a major public road. Bayer Site Security checked the neighboring construction sites and buildings for possible water ingress. Various kinds of damage were discovered and arrangements made for these to be rectified.
HealthCare, Orizaba Proquina, Mexico,
October 23, 2013
Fatal workplace injury of a Bayer employee; explosion and fire in drying area There was an explosion in a drying area of a facility for intermediates at the Orizaba site. The Fire Department brought the resulting fire under control after a short time. One employee was killed and another taken to hospital with burns as a result of the accident. The public prosecutor opened an investigation to examine the cause and course of the accident. A team of experts from Bayer is also investigating the accident. Bayer classified this accident in the “Fatal workplace injury” category.
HealthCare, Wuppertal, Germany,
November 11, 2013
Dripping tank car (water) A liquid was found to be dripping on public property from a rail tank car hired by HealthCare in Wuppertal that was filled with mixed organic solvents. The Wuppertal municipal Fire Department and the Bayer Safety and Security Control Center were informed. Due to the official tank car signage, it was assumed as a precaution that this was a solvent leak. Tests on the sample taken revealed the leaking liquid to be water, which had probably accumulated as rainwater in the cladding of the tank car.
HealthCare, Chengdu, China,
December 25, 2013
Fire on a building site During welding work, small particles and sparks fell into a container of isoamyl acetate, causing it to ignite. Employees were able to adequately extinguish the fire.
CropScience, Vapi, India,
December 27, 2013
– January 2, 2014
Production facilities downtime The production facilities at CropScience’s Vapi site were shut down as part of scheduled downtime. This was due to an inspection of the entire industrial park (12 companies) by the local state authorities. This incident was reported in the local press.
Last updated: February 28, 2014  Copyright © Bayer AG