As a member company of the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) we remain committed to upholding ICMM Principle 4, to implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science, and ICMM Principle 5, to seek continual improvement in health and safety performance

Health risk management

Potential health risks at our workplace include potential exposure to carcinogenic substances (silica, diesel particulate matter, nickel, and coal tar pitch volatiles), other airborne contaminants (coal dust, fluoride, lead and manganese dust) and potential exposure to noise. Musculoskeletal disease and noise-induced hearing loss remain the most commonly reported occupational illnesses by our workers.

Our risk management framework is applied at all of our operations and includes a comprehensive evaluation of exposure risk. Where possible, we implement controls at the project design and equipment selection stages to prevent the introduction of identifiable new hazards. We prioritise implementation of exposure controls to manage health risks and our operations maintain, monitor and verify the effectiveness of exposure controls.

We set internal Occupational Exposure Limits (OELs) for our most prominent potentially harmful agents, and our operations are required to prevent exposure exceeding South32 and legislated OELs. If airborne levels exceed an OEL, respiratory protective equipment is mandated for those affected and we complete fit-testing to ensure the protection is adequate. Our continued focus on reducing the number of people exposed above OELs, by controlling emissions at the source has proven effective.

Fitness for work

We have Fit for Work programs across all operations to support our people physically and mentally perform their work tasks and not adversely impact their own, or their co-workers’, health and safety.

Our Fit for Work programs include medical assessment, fatigue management and risk-based drug and alcohol programs. Medical assessments evaluate potential risks with the individual, the environment and their role. Interventions such as functional assessments are used to further define physical capability to safely perform tasks, and can identify a need for physical rehabilitation or task redesign.

Our fatigue management plans and drug and alcohol programs are designed to minimise health impacts to our people through risk mitigation by reducing the likelihood of incidents, injury and illness at our operations.

Wellness

We recognise that a person’s well-being can be related to factors both internal and external to the workplace. We undertake initiatives to help support our people to manage their own health and well-being so that when they are at work they can be present, alert and engaged. We provide all employees and their family members access to external employee assistance providers. These services support, guide and coach people to manage their own well-being. Mental health awareness and improvement projects are periodically undertaken by operations. 

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Building an inclusive workplace

Nigel Barley regularly shares his powerful message about safety in the workplace.

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Protecting our people

We run regular skin cancer screenings and awareness campaigns at our operations.

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Improving work design at Hillside

We conduct heat stress surveys during summer to help manage potential exposures to heat.

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