ASML is the world's leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 7,000 people.
ASML considers it a moral obligation to do everything in our power to provide safe and healthy working conditions for our employees, customers and suppliers. Because we maintain our ultimate goal to have zero lost time accidents1, we do not set yearly targets on the number of lost time accidents, but set a year-to-year improvement goal of 15%. We deploy it through Safety Master Plans.
The biggest safety risk is injury while working with ASML heavy lithography equipment. In small cabins ASML develops and assembles its heavy lithography equipment (e.g. our NXE machine weights 27 tons and has a length of 4.6 meters and height of 3.2 meters). The fast pace of innovation, the complexity of our equipment and the small series make it hard to adopt standard safety procedures in our manufacturing process. So our safety approach focuses on increasing awareness and alertness of each individual working for or on behalf of ASML.
Health and safety committees supervise health and safety initiatives at our manufacturing and development sites in Veldhoven, Linkou and Wilton. Committee meetings take place each month.
In 2011 we took the following important steps:
appointed a worldwide Environmental, Health, Safety and Security (EHSS) Manager who will start on March 1, 2012;
assigned area managers and prevention coordinators in Veldhoven, who are responsible for incident management in specific areas of our manufacturing and development facilities;
increased the number of safety experts based at Veldhoven and who operate worldwide;
introduced a new company-wide online incident reporting tool. All employees have direct access to this system. Incidents involving injury or large material damage are reported to the Chief Operations Officer within 24 hours and should have initial root cause analysis completed within two weeks;
introduced an incident management system. The implementation worldwide will be completed in 2012;
organized a quarterly safety workshop at ASML Board level. Area managers and specialists from our Manufacturing & Logistics department evaluate the status of the lost time accidents and define actions for the next quarter. The workshops stimulate risk awareness and provide an opportunity to resolve and prevent accidents.
In 2011, the actual lost time accident rate was 0.28, which deviated from our roadmap.
In 2012, we will involve line management far more, increase the number of safety experts, prevention coordinators and area managers, increase safety awareness through systematic training and communication and continue to audit our sites on safety aspects.
A Safety Review Board (SRB) was appointed in 2009 to deal with risks related to our new technique of using hydrogen to rinse wafers produced by our new-generation NXE chip-making machines. The board combined the disciplines of Facility Management, System Development, EHSS and Customer Support. The SRB developed a smooth and secure protocol for the use of this hazardous gas. Hydrogen can only be used if the board confirms that all safety requirements are met.
In 2011, we increased the scope of the SRB's activities. It now covers all our manufacturing sites, not just Veldhoven, and also deals with the use of carbon monoxide and fluorine, two substances we sometimes use in the latest generation chip-making systems.
1Lost time accidents (LTA) are the number of accidents resulting in the victim not being able to return to work on the next originally scheduled working day. The LTA rate is defined as the number of LTAs per 100 FTEs. All accidents concerning our employees, either at our facilities or at customer and supplier facilities, and traffic-related accidents are included.