Linde systematically identifies and controls risks along the product value chain, from the procurement of materials to production through to use by the customer. To this end, we analyse such aspects as the ecological impact and toxicity of substances. Linde documents the results in a database, which also serves as a central source of facts and figures for transport safety measures and for the preparation of safety information for customers and the general public.
2,200participants completed our customer safety trainings.
When developing our safety measures, we consider the entire lifecycle of our products. Our global guideline on product stewardship underpins our activities in this area. We conduct audits globally to determine the level of compliance with this standard. By the end of 2012, we additionally had conducted product stewardship assessment in 12 countries, thus covering around 60 percent of our packaged chemicals business activities. We also train our staff in product safety issues.
Linde provides more than 18,000 product safety datasheets, available in all the languages of the countries in which we operate. Customers and the general public can easily access these online, along with other information about our products. We also offer safety training to our customers. In Germany and Austria, for example, Linde ran training sessions for around 2,200 participants during the reporting year on the responsible handling of gases, holding 113 seminars dedicated to its own customer safety programme, LIPROTECT®. In Malaysia, we supported a seminar on the safe packaging of gases in 2012 for around 200 customers and distributors. A range of services covering all aspects of the supply of gases is also available, extending from hazard assessment through to inspection, maintenance and repairs.
530safety audits completed at customer sites
Depending on the risk, specially trained Linde staff assess whether the conditions are in place for proper gas handling prior to delivery to the customer’s site. In 2012, we carried out around 530 audits of this kind at customer sites. In addition, our emergency teams are available to support customers should help be required. This is also the case outside business hours or at weekends. For its comprehensive services enabling the safe supply of gases, Linde Gas Germany received its fifth consecutive quality certificate from TÜV in 2012.
Responsibility along the value chain
International standards and legal requirements
Our product stewardship programme extends well beyond statutory requirements. With this programme, Linde also supports the Global Product Strategy (GPS) devised by the International Council of Chemical Associations for the safe handling of chemical substances and the United Nations’ Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS).
Additionally, Linde complies with the requirements of REACH, the EU regulation on chemicals. To achieve this, the Group has established a dedicated team of more than 30 experts across Europe. By 2013, we will have registered 5 substances under the REACH regulations. On our REACH internet portal, we provide detailed information on how we are meeting our legal obligations, which substances we have registered, and how we inform our customers and suppliers about this. Linde is also actively working with the European Industrial Gases Association (EIGA) and other trade bodies to implement the REACH process in accordance with the rules and bring it to a successful conclusion with the assistance of customers and suppliers. We have also notified 133 substances in compliance with the European Union's CLP regulation for classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures.