EEVA | General information


EEVA is an abbreviation that stands for:

Evonik’s Essentiële Veiligheidsregel voor de site in Antwerpen (Evonik Essential Safety rule for the site in Antwerp)

This is a rule that helps ensuring that everyone who was present on the Evonik site in Antwerp can leave the company healthy and well.

It deals with the more serious risks and not the "smaller" more trivial ones.

The sense or non-sense is no longer discussed, as everybody accepts and agrees the need to always comply with it.

It fits into the overall Safety, Health and Environment framework.


Why did we start with EEVA?

In the past people believed that there existed a correlation between the different severity levels of accidents (Pyramid of Bird/ Triangle of Heinrich).

For each fatality there were statistically 30 lost time accidents, 300 recordable injuries and thousands of unsafe acts and conditions.

The prevention strategy was therefore to make the base of this triangle small enough to eliminate the top.

However, this proved to be wrong in practice.

Some companies that started working at the base were still found to have serious accidents from time to time. This is because not every unsafe act has the same potential.

The key is to filter out those with the greatest possible negative consequences and take specific measures.

EEVA is part of these.

For less critical potential consequences it is sufficient to reduce the base of the pyramid.


Who is EEVA for?

Everyone who works or visits Evonik Antwerp is expected to respect and, if relevant, apply EEVA.

Both employees and managers have their responsibility.

Internal people or contractor employees are equally important when it comes to safety.

Achieving an open, proactive and fair culture is supported by a reinforced implementation of these rules.


For Evonik Antwerpen the concept is rather new, does it already exist at other companies?

The concept is not new; other and especially larger chemical companies have developed a similar set in recent years.

Names circulating are: “Golden Rules”, “Cardinal Rules”, “Life Saving Rules” …

The number varies between about 5 and 20 and ranges from purely safety-related to welfare and personnel matters.

For example, rules relating to alcohol and drug abuse, theft, uncollective behaviour and the like may be included.

Evonik choses to introduce a safety-related set, consisting of a limited number of rules, so that everyone can easily understand, remember and apply them.

Six EEVAs have been defined and are currently being rolled out. The first 4 were implemented in 2020, the last 2 in early 2021.


Which rules are EEVAs?

  1. The procedure for entering confined spaces must always be complied with.
  2. When working at heights, everyone is obliged to use fall protection.
  3. When carrying out work, the prescribed PPE must always be worn.
  4. Nobody is allowed to carry out work without a work clearance and the required permits.
  5. It is forbidden to unjustifiably remove or circumvent safety features and signage.
  6. Putting colleagues, employees and contractors in " life threatening situations" as a result of a deliberate violation is prohibited.



In order for the concept to work, everyone must be honest and any incidents must be able to be investigated.

Withholding facts, hiding and or manipulating information or lying, which may make the investigation of incidents more difficult, will not be tolerated.

This rule of conduct is already in place currently but is reinforced because of its importance in this context.


An EEVA is sinned against. What happens then?

If a non-compliance with an EEVA is identified, efforts will always be made to carry out an incident investigation. It is therefore expected that reports are made as quickly and accurately as possible.

It is very important to understand why people have not complied with the rule with the intention of ensuring towards the future that it will not happen again.

The objective is to determine the corrective measures.

During the investigation, one of the things that will be examined is which unsafe actions have taken place.

  • These may be one or several.
  • Committed by one or more people .
  • And or from different levels and plants or departments.

An important distinction here is made between an error and a violation.

A violation can be compared to driving through a red traffic light. Everyone knows the rule and knows what is expected of him/her, but people still decide for some reason not to apply it. A sanction may follow.

Mistakes are all the rest.

When mistakes occur, adjustments are made to the system or procedures if necessary including offering coaching and training.


Are the EEVAs a stick behind the door?

No absolutely not.

Evonik Antwerp does everything in its power to enable people to apply the rules. Everyone is therefore asked to do so effectively.

If the rule cannot be applied, everyone has the right not to carry out the job in this unsafe way, but to inform the management and help them look for solutions.

Evonik Antwerp will be very successful in terms of safety culture

  • if everything is reported and investigated,
  • there are no more EEVA incidents,
  • and no sanctions have to be issued.