How to improve effectively Serious Injury and Fatality prevention? Feed-back from mining sector field projects


Christian Roche, DuPont Sustainable Solutions; Alanna Aqui, DuPont Sustainable Solutions

Serious Injury and Fatality (SIF) prevention has been a significant issue over the last decade in the Mining and Metals industry. The spotlight on SIF came from a perceived discrepancy between decreasing incident rates and plateauing SIF incidents. This phenomenon, observed across many industries, seems to have a more striking impact for mining due to the sector’s high SIF figures. Major efforts have been made in mining to address SIF, including the series of well-written guides published by the International Council on Mining and Metals. Those efforts to enhance industry-accepted safety management system effectiveness, hazard recognition protocols and tools, performance of controls and Operational Discipline, have paid off with a global decrease in SIF in recent years. DuPont Sustainable Solutions has been involved recently in projects with leading mining and metals companies to foster SIF prevention and to help those organizations trend to ZERO in SIF. While these companies have robust strategies and control systems to prevent SIF events in high-risk situations, serious incidents were still occurring during routine work being performed by competent and experienced personnel. The challenge that emerges from this new perspective on SIF is one that is deeply linked to the risk awareness and decision-making capability of front-line workers and supervisors. How can the bar be raised to develop cautious behaviors? We will share our field perspective, notably that driving top-down risk management tools and procedures without effectively collaborating with and engaging the users can lead to ineffective control of routine risks. This can result in an increase in unexpected SIF’s. Looking at other industrial sectors, relevant experiences of integrated risk management approach show the interest to empower workers with the knowledge, capability and confidence to think about and assess risks interdependently. This is the concept of Risk Aware Culture.
Keywords: Serious Injury and Fatality, SIF, risk awareness, integrated risk approach