Safety – our number one priority
Zero harm is the ultimate target for Outotec’s work on occupational health and safety, as well as product safety. Our lost-time injury rate improved in 2017 and our target is to further improve it in 2018.
Safety has been spotlighted as the most material theme for Outotec, partly as a result of deeper stakeholder dialogue, and partly because our top management saw a need to improve our safety performance and culture.
According to Outotec’s QEHS Policy, the safety of employees and products is the priority in Outotec’s operations. Zero harm is the ultimate target for Outotec’s development work on occupational health and safety as well as product safety. Outotec’s management remains committed to continuously enhance safety performance throughout the company’s operations. We enable all employees and subcontractors working under our responsibility to work safely, by providing the necessary procedures, instructions, training and personal protective equipment.
Safety of employees and products is the priority in Outotec’s operations.
Occupational health and safety related risks are considerable in minerals and metals processing industries. Outotec has not identified any major risk of specific occupational diseases. For Outotec, the main health and safety risks occur on project sites, manufacturing units, and defective use of Outotec technologies. Increasingly Outotec’s employees work in countries where risks have lately increased. When traveling in developing countries, there is a risk of incidences related to local traffic, local diseases and local developing safety culture on site. In 2017, 684 Outotec employees or persons working under our supervision traveled in countries with high medical and 28 persons in countries with high security risks (GRI 403-3). All employees have the right to refuse work that would be exposed to hazard or incident.
A new Global QEHS Steering Group was established in 2017 to make coherent decisions on QEHS topics, prioritize, strengthen the connection to business, and steer the development work. It convened three times in 2017. The Global QEHS Steering Group conducts management reviews once or twice a year to ensure the effectiveness of Outotec’s QEHS system.
Our local health and safety committees monitor actions, collect feedback, and discuss health and safety issues in their respective locations or projects. Our entire workforce (100%) is duly represented in these committees (GRI 403-1).
Our health and safety reporting covers all Outotec employees and any third parties’ employees who work under Outotec’s direct supervision at premises and project sites under Outotec’s control. It also encompasses Outotec products and services, with regard to compliance issues and incidents over their entire lifetime. In 2017, 2,410 contractors were working for Outotec in projects, and these persons are included in our safety performance reporting.
We primarily measure our safety performance through the lost-time injury rate (LTIR), while also collecting data on near misses and hazards. Our LTIR in 2017 was 1.7 (2016: 1.8) (GRI 403-2). Our target for 2018 is to reduce the LTIR by 5%.
Outotec’s certified, globally harmonized QEHS management system covers all our main locations. It includes procedures, work instructions and form templates to be used throughout our global business processes. Key elements in our QEHS management system include:
- Compliance with legislation
- Identifying and minimizing health and safety risks
- Preventing incidents
- Recording and investigating incidents
- Personnel training
- Continuous improvement of our QEHS performance
In 2017, we internally audited safety practices at our permanent units and main site activities. Site activities continued to have very good safety performance. Improvement work focused on field activities in the service business and our own manufacturing and R&D units.
External audits were successfully conducted by TÜV Rheinland Cert GmbH at our locations in Finland (Espoo, Turula, Pori, Turku), in China (Suzhou), in India (Bangalore, Kolkata), in Sweden (Skellefteå), in Australia (Dandenong, French Forrest) and in Germany (Oberursel), as well as at our construction sites in Brazil. The relevant documentation on all of our certified locations was also audited. The certificates can be found under here.
Safety in field operations
The safety of our employees and contractors is an important aspect of Outotec’s field operations at customers’ sites. Our project managers are responsible for the site activities of Outotec and our sub-contractors, including the management of environmental issues, safety, systematic practices, and cleanliness.
Outotec’s specialists also follow our customers’ own safety regulations when working on site. The greatest safety risks arise in countries where the awareness of safe working practices is low, and occupational safety culture is underdeveloped. In such countries, our employees are instructed to additionally follow Outotec’s own safety principles.
Outotec has a good track record of QEHS performance in large customer projects, and the company has received several safety-related awards from customers.
Employees working on site operations are trained regularly in health and safety matters, the use of protective equipment, hazard identification, risk assessment and required control actions. In 2017, we introduced a new eLearning course about travel safety. It is recommended to all employees and mandatory for all employees who travel for business.
Outotec has a medical and security services agreement with the global service provider International SOS. This 24/7 service covers all Outotec employees and service providers for emergencies occurring during business trips. Through the related Medical Alerts and Travel Security Online service our employees can find information about endemic diseases and other health, safety and security issues, as well as country-specific risk ratings. Before any trip, travelers should check risk levels and find out what actions may be needed to reduce security and health risks.
Read about product safety in Our offering.