Health and safety
Results in 2019
The lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) is a strategic KPI that is cascaded down throughout the organisation in individual management performance scorecards. In 2019, the group did not meet its target of 1.67, closing the year with an LTIFR of 2.04. The increase in this key metric was primarily caused by an incident involving a crew bus in February 2019 in which eight colleagues lost their lives and 16 people were seriously injured.
The root cause investigation into this incident has resulted in significant revisions in the permit-to-work system for employees and drivers, including pre-trip medical examinations, work order release, and GPS tracking of vehicles on haul roads. In addition, a programme is being implemented to replace buses carrying workers with structurally reinforced, rollover-resistant crew vehicles. These measures are being introduced at all open pit mines operated by EVRAZ. As part of an existing initiative, the Group also continues to implement the Safe Driving Programme, which is a project to train all drivers involved in employee transportation.
While efforts to reduce injuries in Q2 and Q3 2019 were quite successful, seasonal Slip-Trip-Fall risks led to an increase in minor injuries in November and December, which made it impossible to a lower LTIFR than in the previous year.
In 2019, EVRAZ lost a total of 16 colleagues:
- Eight employees died in the incident involving a crew bus at an open pit coal mine
- Four employees died in incidents associated with exposure to moving equipment, rock caving and falling loads
- Four contractors were fatally injured due to falling from height, a railway accident and a falling load while preparing for lifting operations
Each month, the HSE Committee reviews and approves preventative measures as a result of all fatalities and serious injuries, and then monitors the implementation and effectiveness of these measures. For each incident, a so-called “90-day plan” is developed to properly eliminate root causes of the incident.
In 2019, the Group used the results of a key risk assessment as a basis for reviewing and updating its cardinal safety rules to prevent the most dangerous types of employee activity. These rules must be followed by all employees and contractors.
|Current cardinal safety rules|
|It is forbidden to be on the territory of enterprises in a state of alcoholic and/or narcotic intoxication|
|It is forbidden to override protective interlock equipment and security systems without prior authorisation|
|It is forbidden to hide and distort the circumstances of HSE incidents|
|When working at heights, it is forbidden to not use safety systems for work at height included in the work permit, as well as personal protective equipment against falls|
|It is forbidden to not use a seat belt in personal transport on the territory of enterprises and motor vehicles of the employer|
|It is forbidden to smoke and/or use open fire in coal mines and other places where explosive hazards are present|
|It is prohibited to use explosive materials for purposes other than those specified in the Permit-to-Work, or not to return to the warehouse the remnants of explosive materials after blasting operations, as well as to change the designs of the detonator|
|It is prohibited to use machines and equipment not intended for these purposes to transport people|
Treatment of occupational diseases
Consistent with all applicable legislation, EVRAZ provides all its employees with insurance against work-related injuries and illnesses. A system of regular medical check-ups helps to identify potential occupational diseases and undergo timely treatment.
Employees may also receive financial assistance from the Group, based on their medical condition and other circumstances. Employees who need prolonged medical treatment are also eligible to be compensated for moral harm, although these funds may not be used to arrange independent medical treatment.
In 2019, a total of 237 cases of occupational diseases were registered at EVRAZ facilities worldwide, compared with 256 cases in 2018. The Group continues to closely examine working conditions and strives to eliminate the highest-risk workplaces in terms of employee health.
In addition, there are ongoing efforts at all EVRAZ facilities to properly treat occupational illnesses in an effort to preserve and improve employee health. To determine the risk group and evaluate fitness to work, every worker undergoes an annual medical check-up. Employees are compensated in accordance with legislative requirements. When occupational illnesses are registered, additional payments are made from the social security fund, including pension supplements. Personnel who are prone to occupational illness also receive free treatment at therapeutic resorts. The Group also strives to proactively improve working conditions in an effort to reduce the likelihood of occupational illnesses occurring.
Key projects in 2019 and objectives for 2020
Corporate-wide initiatives in 2019 were mainly focused on cultural change through improving the safety behaviour of employees and contractors.
EVRAZ continues to integrate contractors into its HSE management system. In 2019, the Contractor Management Standard was revised. This resulted in clarifications to the contractor pre-qualification requirements for work at the Group’s enterprises, the system of motivation and fines to incentivise rapid adjustments to the organisation of work, the requirements for planning safety measures and the permit-to-work system.
Further improvements to the contractor management system in 2020 will include rating contractors on their HSE performance, which aims to increase responsibility for failing to organise safe working conditions, as well as motivate compliance with the EVRAZ HSE system requirements.
In 2019, EVRAZ reviewed its risk management system to maximise employee engagement in the process of identifying and mitigating risks.
The Group’s enterprises have been assessed using the existing risk management system to identify areas for improvement. As a result of this assessment, senior management has held a session to review the EVRAZ HSE management system and found that the main elements of the system requiring development were Leadership and Risk Management.
To improve these elements, the Group has decided to implement a Risk Management project and, during the year, developed a set of risk management tools. These simple but effective methods for determining hazardous conditions and actions have been tested in pilot workshops and mines. The Risk Hunting and Dynamic Risk Assessment tools help to determine “What could go wrong?” and implement measures to stop work that threatens life and health, or to mitigate the risks. The risk assessment matrix was also revised and a risk passport form was developed.
To implement the project, teams of risk managers and internal trainers were created in the Group’s divisions, and the standard work of line managers and enterprise managers was revised. The project’s tools have been integrated into the existing HSE documentation and work schedules.
In 2020, implementing this project will be EVRAZ primary HSE initiative. As part of these efforts, all Group employees will be trained to use the risk identification, assessment and mitigation tools. The plan includes creating a system to receive risk warnings from employees, as well as to improve behavioural safety conversations between line managers and employees so that the workforce is more engaged in the routine dynamic risk assessment process on the job.
The goals that EVRAZ has set for the Risk Management project in 2020 include engaging employees and receiving at least one risk warning for every two employees who received training. The project’s other goal is to create “red risk passports” based on the key risk management barriers identified while compiling comprehensive maps of the risks present at our employees’ workplaces.