South32 is revamping its safety performance


South32's Illawarra metallurgical coal operation. Image: South32

South32 has put extra frameworks in place as the company looks to improve its safety outcomes going forward.

As part of its ‘sustainability approach’, the Perth-based miner is focusing on five interconnected pillars to support the delivery of its strategy, including worker safety and inclusion and diversity.

In 2021, South32 commenced a critical program of work to improve the safety performance across its operations, with a view toward zero fatalities and injuries.

“We have a significant amount of work underway to improve our safety performance,” South32 chief executive officer Graham Kerr said at the 2022 Bank of America Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference.

“The most important commitment we make is that everyone at South32 goes home safe and well at the end of their shift.

“We are equally committed to creating a work environment where everyone feels safe psychologically, no matter their background or the role they play in our business.

“Following a review of our inclusion and diversity performance and practices, we developed an action plan to continue to improve the way everyone experiences our culture.”

South32 has rolled out its Leadership Fundamentals Program to deliver further improvements in inclusion and diversity within the organisation.

The focus on worker safety and inclusion joins neatly with the company’s ongoing sustainability approach, which revolves around addressing South32’s climate and environmental impacts.

The company has a target to reduce its operational carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2035, ahead of its goal of achieving net zero by 2050.

South32 produces commodities including aluminium, bauxite, copper and metallurgical coal across Australia, southern Africa and South America, and has an emerging pipeline of new projects in North America.

By optimising, unlocking and identifying growth outcomes for the company, South32 reported record earnings and shareholder returns in the first half of the 2022 financial year. The company expects volume growth of more than 20 per cent from its 2021 baseline in the next financial year.

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