Progressing product safety

ExxonMobil is committed to providing the energy and products the world needs in a way that protects 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 apply rigorous processes and standards, updating and translating annually approximately 86,000 safety data sheets listing risks and proper use of products. In 2021, we continued our strong performance in our Fuels, Lubricants and Chemicals businesses with zero high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents, a key internal metric.

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Progressing product safety
Image United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals related to this content.

Approach

ExxonMobil aims to mitigate potential impacts of our products by factoring relevant health, environmental exposure and use data into our development process and communications with employees and customers. We strive to identify and manage risks associated with our products, and to avoid manufacture or sale of products when it is not possible to provide an appropriate level of safety through proper design, procedures and practices.

ExxonMobil scientists are at the forefront of product safety research. We develop testing methods and models for company use, and collaborate with other industry professionals, academic researchers, regulators, and policy makers to help ensure that the best available science informs industry product safety policy.

ExxonMobil’s Product Safety Policy is consistent with external product safety standards, including those provided by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) 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 objective 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 (Page 15) to more fully understand our approach to health, safety and environmental management of our products. 


Management and application

Throughout our 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 customers’ safe use and disposal of our products.

Product standards
ExxonMobil 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 standard may exist to enable communication of product safety aspects to our customers. 

Safe handling
ExxonMobil implements safety and environmental standards while transporting 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 2021.  

Strategic relationships
ExxonMobil collaborates with others to develop, evaluate, and promote the best available science to assess product safety, including organizations like:

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Performance

ExxonMobil monitors performance relative to established safety standards, and we share that information through a range of publications and communication channels.

Safety data sheets

In 2021, ExxonMobil embarked on a major upgrade of PSIMS to improve access to and management of product safety information. The upgrade is designed to increase connectivity to formula information and supplier data and to enhance the interface with our manufacturing sites, improving access to product safety information. ExxonMobil updates and translates approximately 86,000 safety data sheets annually, which are distributed to customers in approximately 200 countries.

Scientific journals and technical presentations

ExxonMobil continuously develops new research and shares that with the scientific community. In 2021, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences (EMBSI) published 16 peer-reviewed scientific papers. EMBSI representatives also gave 36 technical presentations to scientific conferences, regulatory agencies, and academic institutions. Among them were the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, the American Industrial Health Association, and the International Society of Exposure Sciences. A list of external publications from EMBSI scientists is available at ORCID.

Product stewardship metric 

A key internal metric to understand the efficacy of our Product Safety Management System is the number of high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents. A high-consequence risk is measured by a combination of potential impacts including safety, health, environmental, and regulatory. In 2021, we continued our strong performance in our Fuels, Lubricants, and Chemicals businesses with zero high-consequence product stewardship-related incidents.

Image ExxonMobil scientists evaluate the effects on organisms such as daphnia (water fleas) to better understand the potential impacts of our products on the environment.
ExxonMobil scientists evaluate the effects on organisms such as daphnia (water fleas) to better understand the potential impacts of our products on the environment.