Progressing product safety

Report Jan. 8, 2024

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Progressing product safety
ExxonMobil aims to provide the energy and products the world needs in a way that helps to protect human health and the environment. Our scientists and product stewardship professionals collaborate with industry and academic researchers, regulatory bodies, and policy makers to help ensure that the best available science informs industry product safety policy. We have a continuous process of updating and translating into multiple languages our vast library of safety data sheets listing risks and proper use of our products. In 2022, we continued our strong performance in our Fuels, Lubricants, and Chemicals businesses with zero high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents, a key internal metric.
Image United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.

Approach

The products we make bring benefits to modern society, and our scientists are at the forefront of product safety research.

In addition to developing testing methods and models for company use, we collaborate with industry professionals, academic researchers, regulators, and policy makers to help ensure that the best available science informs industry product safety policy. We factor relevant health, environmental exposure, and use-data into our development process and into our communications with employees and customers to mitigate potential impacts of our products. We work to identify and manage risks associated with our products and to avoid the manufacture and sale of products that cannot meet an appropriate level of safety for people and the environment.

Our Product Safety Policy is consistent with external product safety standards, including those provided by the American Chemistry Council Product Safety Code, and is incorporated into ExxonMobil’s management systems. The primary way we communicate potential product hazards and risks to our customers is through our Product Stewardship Information Management System (PSIMS). This tool provides information on the safe handling, transport, use, and disposal of our products via safety data sheets.  

Objective

Our primary focus is to identify and manage risk associated with our products and to provide the appropriate level of safety for people and the environment.

Please see our Product Safety Policy for more about our approach to health, safety, and environmental management of our products. 

Management and application

Throughout the numerous product value chains, we emphasize product safety, product stewardship, regulatory compliance, and science-based product safety advocacy. This work includes communicating with customers and addressing regulatory developments, issuing safety data sheets, labeling products accurately, and supporting our customers’ safe use and disposal of our products.

Product standards

Our products, including chemicals, lubricants, and fuels, meet or exceed applicable regulations, standards, and guidelines, including:

We also apply relevant standards for product safety where no regulation or standards exist to enable communication of product safety aspects to our customers. 

Safe handling

We apply safety and environmental standards in the transport of our products, and we regularly engage with industry peers and emergency responders to promote the safe transport of oil and chemical products. For example, we perform periodic risk assessments in our transportation processes to find opportunities to further mitigate risk, such as implementing new technologies like GPS or positive train control with our third-party transportation providers. We continue to improve training programs for public responders in the unlikely event of a release and have had zero work-related workforce (employee or contractor) fatalities caused by transport incidents from 2017 through 2022.

We collaborate with others to develop, evaluate, and promote the best available science to assess product safety, including the following organizations:

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Performance

Our performance is monitored relative to established safety standards, and we share that information through a range of publications and communication channels, including this report.

Safety data sheets

In 2021, ExxonMobil embarked on a major upgrade of our PSIMS to improve access to and management of product safety information. The upgrade is designed to increase connectivity to formula information and supplier data. It will also enhance the interface with our manufacturing sites, improving access to product safety information. In 2022, we completed more than 1,500 product and component assessments and distributed more than 70,000 safety data sheets to customers in more than 150 countries.

Scientific journals and technical presentations

We continuously develop and publish new research. In 2022, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences (EMBSI) published 22 peer-reviewed scientific papers. EMBSI representatives also gave 17 technical presentations to scientific conferences, regulatory agencies, and academic institutions. Among them were the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the Society of Toxicology, and the International Society of Exposure Sciences. A list of external publications from EMBSI scientists is available at ORCID.

Product stewardship metrics 

A key internal metric to help us understand the efficacy of our product safety management system is the number of high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents. A high-consequence incident is measured through a combination of potential impacts including safety, health, environmental, and regulatory. In 2022, we continued our strong performance in our Fuels, Lubricants, and Chemicals businesses with zero high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents.

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