1. Chemicals management at Bridgestone Poznań


1.     Chemicals management at Bridgestone Poznań
        - Bridgestone Poznań Sp. z o.o



Bridgestone Poznań Sp. z o.o. introduced a special application called ChemiReg which provide an effective monitoring and management of chemicals in the factory. It covers the purchasing procedure, principle of labelling and information on the production machinery panels. The company also established safety instructions and principles for marking locations and equipment used for holding chemical substances.


The company

Bridgestone is the world's largest producer of tires and rubber products. It is one of the most modern production plants in the European part of the Japanese Bridgestone Corporation manufacturing the highest quality tires valued around the world. The Polish plant has been operating in Poznań since 1998 and it employs almost 2000 employees.

The issue

Bridgestone Poznań Sp. z o.o. production personnel come into contact with various dangerous substances on a day-to-day basis. In order to ensure safety at work with a large number of chemical compounds with varied physical and chemical properties, it was necessary to create a system which would enable a holistic approach to chemicals management at the factory. The existing register of chemicals being used required a significant amount of work and did not fully reflect the actual situation. Low employee awareness of dangerous substances/mixtures and the lack of a unified chemicals management system could lead to a serious breakdown or accidents.


Action taken


Multidisciplinary team

To optimise the chemicals management process and provide safe conditions while working with chemicals, a multidisciplinary team was set up. It consisted of employees of the environmental protection division, the OHS division and departments where chemicals were used.

Complete register of chemicals
The process started with the preparation and implementation of a complete register of chemical substances and mixtures used in the factory. To this end, Bridgestone Poznań Sp. z o.o. prepared a special application called ChemiReg. Development of the application required collecting data from departments where chemicals are used, information about maximum quantities stored, quantities used per shift and also current safety data sheets. The process of data collection, program database development and application testing involved representatives of specific areas of activity, which was a first step towards building employee awareness.

Efficient monitoring
Thanks to the development and implementation of the ChemiReg application, every employee can now consult the register of chemical substances. Filters installed in ChemiReg enable efficient navigation within a specific department of interest. The possibility to export the database or information enables efficient monitoring and modification of the database, promoting continuous improvement (100% data freshness).

The principle of labeling
To ensure the traceability of all chemicals used in the factory, the principle of labelling each chemical with its corresponding number in ChemiReg was adopted. In this way, every chemical can be easily identified. The application also makes it possible to print a replacement label, containing information about the name, classification, exposure, precautions, pictograms, manufacturer and supplier, quantity/units, department in which the chemical is used, as well as the office where the binder with safety data sheets is located. The chemical component report streamlines the charging of environmental fees. The system automatically sends a relevant notification regarding the introduction of a new chemical, the update of the safety data sheet and a change to the quantity of a chemical to the employees assigned to the department in which the chemical is used.

Information on the production machinery panels
Additionally, to further increase the availability of information about the procedure in the event of a leakage or release of a chemical substance or mixture, the ChemiReg light application, available on the production machinery panels, was developed and implemented.

Purchasing procedure
One of the key elements of the chemicals management optimisation project was to prepare a ‘chemicals management system map’, describing the rules for introducing a new chemical substance or mixture and the procedure for regular orders. Each new chemical has to be approved in advance by the environmental protection department, the OHS department and by the departments directly concerned. It must be also verified for the presence of drug precursors, carcinogenic or mutagenic substances, substances of very high concern and SEVESO. Deliveries are sent to the warehouse, where they are checked whether both collective and unit packaging has been labelled in accordance with the safety data sheet in Polish. The warehouse employee also labels each individual package with the item number from ChemiReg.

Principles for chemical management
Safety instructions regarding the handling of chemicals were prepared for each area of activity and contain: classification, internal transport, warehousing, personal protective equipment, procedure in the event of a spill/leakage, procedure in the event of fire, waste management and first aid.

All safety data sheets are assessed by a company doctor in terms of the need to conduct an occupational medical examination.

The principles for marking or describing locations, pipelines, containers and tanks used for storing or holding chemical substances or mixtures were established.

The principles for chemical and environmental management were created. They will be published in electronic form (1 day/1 principle) and conveyed by foremen at employee briefings.

A series of articles addressing corporate chemicals management was published in an in-house bulletin for the factory employees.

In order to identify and respond to irregularities, chemical patrols are conducted.


Results Achieved

  1. Increased employee awareness of and commitment to chemicals management and use of proper safeguards against accidents.
  2. The ability to proceed correctly in the event of an accident involving chemicals.
  3. Effective identification of chemicals located in the factory and, therefore, better supervision over these chemicals.
  4. Compliance with legal and corporate requirements, including ongoing updates.
  5. Beneficial impact on the environment and local community (quick access to accident prevention methods).
  6. Beneficial impact on safety at work (quick access to safety data sheets).
  7. Significant improvement in the results of external audits of chemicals management.
  8. Streamlined tasks involving the charging of environmental fees.
  9. Streamlined monitoring of carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, drug precursors and SEVESO.
  10. Ensured continuity of production and supply of goods to the customer