Behavior in case of incidents

In a nutshell

Alerting: By loudspeaker announcements from the police and fire department

1. Follow the instructions of the police and fire department

2. Close windows and doors

  • Switch off the air conditioning or ventilation, even if you are in the car
  • Stay in your home
  • Notify neighbors or passers-by and provide assistance if necessary. Avoid the danger zone.
  • Follow the instructions of the disaster control authorities!

3. Switch on the radio for any further information

  • MDR Aktuell (95.1 MHz)
  • Radio Erzgebirge (90.8 MHz)
  • RSA (93.5 MHz)
  • Pay attention to loudspeaker announcements

4. Do not use the telephone

Only use the telephone in an extreme emergency
Do not block the lines for the emergency services

Information for the public in accordance with Section 11 (1) of the Hazardous Incident Ordinance

With this brochure, we would like to inform our neighbors about our site, the safety precautions we have taken and the correct behavior in the event of a major accident.

A major accident is defined as an industrial accident in which substances are released that could endanger people or the environment. These substances are listed in the Hazardous Incident Ordinance, the legal regulation for the prevention and limitation of industrial accidents.

Nickelhütte Aue GmbH is subject to this ordinance and has notified the competent authority in accordance with §7 of the Hazardous Incident Ordinance. With this brochure we offer our help and give you tips on how to behave correctly in the event of a hazardous incident. The content was last coordinated with the LFULG as the competent authority on 02.05.2023.

**If you have any questions about the content of this information or would like further information, just give us a call. Our incident officer can be reached on 03771 505 208 or contact our communications department on 03771 505 225. In the evening and on Sundays and public holidays, please contact the shift supervisor on 03771 505 444.

The operation is regularly monitored by the LFULG as the responsible authority. Further information can be found on the website

What does Nickelhütte Aue GmbH produce?

We produce new metal concentrates such as nickel, cobalt, copper, vanadium and precious metals from electroplating sludge, catalysts and residues from the metal industry. These are either sold directly or further refined by us. New catalytic converters (nickel), cell phone batteries (cobalt) or color pigments (vanadium) are created from the sales products.

We also trade in scrap metal and sell it on after sorting. Transformers are also dismantled. The individual recyclable materials are separated and fed back into the economic cycle.

In addition, our alloy smelter produces gunmetal, brass and bronze alloys according to customer requirements.

The waste heat from the thermal processes is used in our heating plant to generate electrical energy and heat. The latter not only covers our own needs, but is also supplied to other companies in the town of Aue.

All business areas are regularly audited by DEKRA Certification GmbH. Nickelhütte is certified according to ISO 9001, 14001, 45001 and 50001.

Hazardous substances within the meaning of the Hazardous Incident Ordinance are present in the plant in quantities that require the extended obligations of the Hazardous Incident Ordinance.

Although Nickelhütte Aue GmbH has taken the necessary technical and organizational precautions, operational disruptions or accidents in which hazardous substances are released on the company premises cannot be ruled out with absolute certainty. This can lead to various hazards, e.g. irritation of the eyes or respiratory tract. Damage to the environment is also conceivable.

As a general rule, the greater the distance from the accident site, the lower the effects.

What can cause incidents?

Nickelhütte Aue GmbH uses a whole range of substances that fall under the Hazardous Incident Ordinance. However, as the plant has a constantly changing production program, only some of these substances are in stock at any one time.

The following table lists some substances in connection with the respective legally prescribed hazard characteristic.

The wording of the hazard characteristics is taken from Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labeling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (CLP or GHS Regulation).

Substances and concentrates Hazard characteristic Remarks
Nickel sulphate, chloride, nitrate
Sodium vanadate
Vanadium pentoxide
Slag containing sodium vanadate
Toxic and dangerous for the environment Toxic by inhalation
Toxic if swallowed
Causes skin irritation
Toxic or very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment
Copper chloride, copper sulphate
Cobalt sulphate
Nickel/copper stone
Extracting agent
Heating oil
Nickel / Cobalt
Copper / Zinc / Chromium
Precious metal
Molybdenum / Tungsten
Vanadium oxide
Environmentally hazardous Toxic or very toxic to aquatic organisms, may cause long-term adverse effects in the aquatic environment Causes skin irritation
Li-ion batteries Contact with water releases
flammable gases, Category 1
Substances or mixtures which, in contact with water, emit flammable gases,
Category 1
Extracting agent
Hydrogen peroxide
Health hazard
Warning Harmful
May be fatal if swallowed
Causes skin and eye irritation
Nitric acid 65%
Oxidizing Fire hazard in contact with flammable substances May cause or intensify fire

Safety precautions at Nickelhütte Aue GmbH

A multi-stage concept is used to ensure the safety of our plants:

  1. the reactions of the chemical substances used and their fire behavior are taken into account as early as the planning stage of a plant and the necessary measures to control any resulting hazards are included from the outset.
  2. a team of specialists from planning, development, production, occupational safety, health protection, environmental protection and the plant fire department systematically checks whether all sources of danger and weak points have been identified and eliminated. This check is recorded in writing in a "risk analysis", which in turn forms the basis for the safety reports to be drawn up in accordance with the Hazardous Incident Ordinance.
  3. the authorities check whether the considerations of Nickelhütte Aue GmbH correspond to the state of the art in safety technology and are in line with the statutory regulations. Experts are consulted on specific issues, e.g. TÜV or the employers' liability insurance association. The public is involved in certain projects.
  4. the safety of our systems is regularly checked by TÜV and other experts. Internal company checks and inspections supplement these periodic inspections. In addition, our specially trained officers, e.g. for water pollution control, accident prevention and immission control, and our safety officers monitor the condition of our plants.

As the Nickelhütte Aue GmbH site is located in an area at risk of flooding, numerous flood protection measures were also implemented. For example, the existing protective walls were raised along the banks of the Schwarzwasser for the entire factory premises. Mobile flood barriers are also available for the factory buildings.

Nickelhütte has an 11-member trained volunteer emergency response team, which is supported by 15 fire protection assistants and is available for initial damage control. A joint deployment plan has been agreed between the emergency group and the Auer fire department. The emergency group is equipped with a fire engine (Multicar) and an extinguishing trailer (both equipped with a T8 extinguishing water pump), 1 AB extinguishing container LC250S foam and appropriate protective equipment.

In order to be able to fight fires as soon as they start, the plant has 6 fire alarm systems that report to the permanently manned control center and 14 smoke extraction systems (SHEVS). In addition, approx. 557 portable fire extinguishers, 50 tons of extinguishing sand and 29 extinguishing water extraction points are available throughout the plant.

All measures outside the Nickelhütte site were coordinated in advance with the disaster control department. A basic safety report and several partial safety reports as well as an internal and external emergency response plan were prepared for the operating area.

If an incident occurs, the responsible authorities are informed immediately and the necessary measures to limit the effects are implemented with their help.