When BASF is founded in 1865, workers’ wages are barely enough to survive. Illness becomes a major threat. Public health care is not yet available. Therefore, it becomes particularly important for BASF to voluntarily provide social services. Health care and safe working conditions, as well as providing acceptable living conditions for its workers are initially at the core of its services. Education and culture soon complement BASF’s commitment even outside of company grounds. To date, BASF continues to respond to social needs with its services.
Safe working conditions and health care
A year after its founding, BASF hires a company physician – the very first in the German chemical industry. The establishment of workers’ baths begins early. Company health insurance provided by BASF follows in 1884, providing far beyond what is now required by law. The first occupational safety measures include safety de-vices on machines and equipment. When the first safety engineer is employed in 1929, educating employees about accident risks, in addition to technical safety devices, becomes fundamental for the improvement of work safety.
Housing space and more
With the large-scale construction of workers’ housing, BASF lays the cornerstone for a further pillar of its early social policy in 1872. It is important due to the housing shortage and deficiencies that characterize the situation for workers even in the 20th century. Their physical well-being is also taken care of, since the first can-teen opens its doors in 1884. The needs of employees change when society changes and thus the balance between family and work is important today. In 1986, BASF introduces its first activities for this.
Educational and cultural activities
A wide range of educational opportunities for employees dates back to 1900, when a library is established for workers. When BASF conducts the first summer course for international students in 1949, educational opportunities are no longer restricted to BASF employees. To pique interest in science at an early age, BASF sets up the first school laboratories in 1997.
BASF’s cultural commitment starts in 1921 with the first concert for its employees, setting trends in social life beyond the borders of Ludwigshafen.