Employee safety is given the highest priority in the activity of the KGHM Group companies. Safety is one of our fundamental values and a key area of the company’s sustainable development policy. We strive to minimize any and all threats to our employees, local communities and the environment (Zero Harm Policy). We believe that the facilities with the highest level of safety are the best ones.
We approach the problems of safety in a comprehensive manner. In the entire KGHM Group, a System of Occupational Health and Safety Management is in force in accordance with 18001/OHSAS. We have identified threats occurring on working positions in our plants and assessed the associated occupational risks. We can state with full responsibility that each position at the KGHM Group has been properly prepared with respect to occupational safety. Employees undergo systematic training and continually improve their qualifications relating to safety. In line with our values, we all feel co-responsible for health and safety – our own and that of our colleagues.
We conduct ongoing monitoring of the work environment and we perform regular reviews of equipment and assessment of possible risks. We take care that equipment used at our company undergoes the required technical inspections and has required type approvals.
We do not tolerate the illegal or risk-generating behaviour. We encourage reporting any situation which might potentially affect employees’ health and safety. The condition of occupational health and safety in KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. is continuously monitored and assessed, and the findings are used on an on-going basis. In order to eliminate or mitigate the risks we use the best available technologies and we develop new solutions. We impose strict safety standards on ourselves and our suppliers and subcontractors alike. Furthermore, in particular branches of our company, Occupational Safety and Health employees perform regular internal audits. In 2017, 7 such audits were performed.
In all of our plants, we promote Golden OSH Principles, which are regularly updated in view of new threats that appear. For employees, we organize, apart from other events, a content of knowledge of the Golden OSH Principles. So far 341 employees have taken part.
Safety rules in the KGHM Group
In 2017, we continued works on the implementation of a long-term Program for Improving Occupational Safety and Health at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A., adding to it new initiatives. The program is an element of our updated Strategy of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. for 2017-2021 with the outlook until 2040. We want to continue the ef orts made to perform the long-term vision “Zero accidents for personal and technical reasons, zero occupational diseases among our employees and counterparties.” As part of the program, in 2017, one of our companies – KGHM Cuprum CB-R has performed a “Survey of the key elements of occupational safety culture with the preparation of proposed corrective action.”
Key areas of the “Occupational Safety Improvement Program at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. until 2020”
We want to communicate about safety in the most effective way. For KGHM employees, we have launched an OSH intranet Vortal that contains almost 100 articles, infographics and information materials about safety at work. On the website, there are also 36 pictures depicting the “Safety Passport – f ve minutes for safety” taken at the Polkowice-Sieroszowice Mine.
Selected safety-related actions in KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. in 2017:
• With Miedziowe Centrum Zdrowia, we have extended the scope of psychological aid provided to persons involved in accidents at work or potential accidents on the company’s premises. At present, we also offer psychological aid to KGHM employees and their families in crisis situations.
• In December, a uniform program for mines “Healthy employee in a dif cult work environment” was inaugurated for the prof le (health, fitness, overweight, obesity).
• Actions taken to make the employees aware of the hazards which might occur in their work environment include also video reconstructions of selected accidents and dangerous events in the Branches of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. Four reconstructions, one instruction video and other teaching materials have been prepared to date.
• An assessment was made of the current level of occupational stress at the Head Office of KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. and a preliminary proposal of prevention activities has been presented. The work is performed by KGHM Cuprum CB – R. The assessment process will end in 2018 with a summary of research and workshops which will cover, among others, the issues related to coping with stress.
We perform advanced research and development works on elements that may have beneficial effects on safety improvement. The most important projects performed in 2017 include: automatyczne urządzenie do rozbijania brył typu URB/ZS-3 w wyrobiskach podziemnych kopalni rudy miedzi,
- automatic device for breaking URB/ZS-3 type blocks in underground excavations of copper ore mines,
- self-driving anchoring car KOT-170A with automatic anchoring head, • innovative system of wireless communication in pillar-chamber excavations in underground mining plants,
- development and implementation of an innovative, comprehensive system to support training of the operators of self-driving mining machines (SMG) for efficient and safe work in underground excavations of copper ore mines,
- development of the wireless communication system in underground excavations with a particular focus on communication and data transmission in the area of the operating front in the pillar-chamber system.
We may observe, with satisfaction, that consistent activity aiming to ensure safety do bring results. In 2017, we noted a decrease in the total number of accidents at work year on year, from 370 to 300 injured persons. The significant drop in the accident rate concerned in particular mining plants. The number of accidents at work in our mines reached the level of 235 injured persons in 2017 against 318 events in 2016. Most of the accidents (approx. 98 percent) were connected with light injuries and their major causes were, in descending order, loss of balance by employees, hitting or being hit by loose/ immobile objects, rocks falling from an unmined bed and injuries connected with using working tools. The number of accidents at work resulting from a high threat from a rock mass certainly fell down. Compared to 2016, the number of the injured for the above reason declined by 60 percent. We constantly improve in terms of safe exploitation of copper ore deposits. We are aware how serious are natural threats connected with underground mining of copper ore deposits, especially following from the occurrence of mining tremors and their potential consequences, such as bursts and falls. These are events that may lead to serious or fatal accidents, damages to machinery, equipment, and underground infrastructure, as well as exploitation downtimes. Therefore, a broad range of activities is performed in our mines to prevent bursts and falls. They include regular seismic monitoring, assessment of the rock mass condition on an ongoing basis, with marking zones of the heightened risk of bursts. Experts from KGHM Polska Miedź S.A. select sizes, shapes and number of chambers and inter-chamber pillars as well as protective pillars. It is also planned to determine the most beneficial direction of progress in exploitation and the optimum order of extracting ore from deposits to minimize the local concentration of stresses in the rock mass. We apply active methods for preventing bursts and falls, which involve provoking dynamic events by group shooting at the faces and by stress-reducing shooting in the deposit or at its floor.
After the tragic collective accident in November 2016, we undertook, among other things, works on preparing uniform rules of designing and maintaining functional chambers in mines, including chambers for heavy machinery.
In 2017, the LTFR1 result ratio fell approx. 18 percent vs. 2016 to 10.4 (2016 = 12.7), meaning it has come down 44% since 2010.
LTIFR in the Parent company
At the KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD. Group, the occupational safety management is based on identification, assessment, elimination and/or control of threats and risks within the framework of performing and continuous improvement of the “Zero Harm” organizational culture, which is also one of the company’s values. The management scope includes all the companies that are wholly owned by KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD. or in which KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD. is the managing partner. The “Zero Harm” work safety policy includes both employees, counterparties and local communities and is identified as a constant activity to prevent threats in the area of occupational safety and health as well as in terms of environmental protection. In 2017, KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD. started works aiming to implement the “Corporate Risk Management Standard in the areas of Health, Safety and the Environment.” The implementation of the solution, which is made up of 14 pillars, is predicted to start in 2018 and to take several years.
In 2017, in the mines belonging to KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD., a total of 57 accidents at work were recorded. Finally, TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) reached 0.8 and was lower by 0.1 vs. 2016 and, at the same time, lower by 74 percent from the figure recorded in 2010.
TRIR2 in the Parent company
KGHM Chile worked for 2,504,237 hours without an accident, which gives 4,838 days of ZERO HARM from July 2004.
1 LTIFR (Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate) the total number of accidents at work standardized per 1 million hours worked by employees of the technological process at KGHM Polska Miedź S.A.
2 TRIR (Total Recordable Incident Rate) the rate of the accident at work that satisfies the conditions for being recorded as defined in the ICMM (International Council on Mining & Metals) standard, jointly for employees and subcontractors of KGHM INTERNATIONAL LTD., standardized per 200,000 hours worked.