Messer has revealed that it has undertaken to implement measures which are designed to reduce the number of deaths caused by accidents in Europe, joining the European Road Safety Charter group.

Since June the Messer Group has been a member of the action group and in signing the European Charter, the largest owner-managed industrial gas specialist has committed itself to supporting the European Union’s action programme which is aimed at halving the number of traffic deaths on European roads by 2010.

“The probability of a traffic accident involving one of the more than 350 tankers and 500 trucks for gas cylinders which are used to supply our customers each day is relatively high,” says Danilo Ritlop, who is responsible for occupational safety, health, environment and quality management at Messer.

“In particular with regard to the laws and sets of rules which apply for the industrial gas industry and the training courses based on these, our staff and external tanker drivers provide support in ensuring that gases are transported and handled as safely as
possible. This has highest priority at Messer. We understand our declaration of commitment to the European Union as a pledge to implement defined individual measures.”

Messer will launch a campaign for road safety for more than 50 European locations in over 30 countries in which it will enhance the training for tanker drivers. The introduction of a new system for the statistical measurement of key figures in road safety – such as incidents per million kilometres – is designed to detect possible causes in the company so that improvements can be tailored to the situation.

In June the Messer Group received seven awards for accident-free operations at the Congress of the European Industrial Gases Association in Venice, Italy. The companies of the industrial gas specialist in the Czech Republic received two gold and one silver EIGA awards for 15 years of accident-free operation of a plant for producing air gases and for filling industrial gases in gas cylinders.

Two production locations of Messer’s Slovakian company, which has its headquarters in Bratislava, also received a golden award for 15 years of accident-free operation and a silver award for ten years of accident-free operation.

Messer’s French subsidiary gained a silver EIGA award for five years without an accident. For the first time, Messer in Algeria – a joint venture of Messer and ENGI which has existed since 1998 – received an EIGA safety award for one million working hours without an accident at the production location for air gases in Skika.