Major miners aim to push safety performance to the next level

A Responsible Mining Index (RMI) report into the workplace culture of 30 mining majors has shown that safety is a priority for the companies involved, but there are still several areas that could be improved.

RMI 2018 reported on six different categories, including economic development, business conduct, lifecycle management, community wellbeing, working conditions, and environmental responsibility.

The list of companies includes several major Australian and international producers such as AngloGold Ashanti, Anglo American, BHP, Rio Tinto, Vale, Teck Resources, Newcrest Mining and MMG.

In the ‘working conditions’ category, the report found that performance was “fairly evenly distributed” between the 30 companies due to their shared commitment to the single issue of occupational health and safety (OHS).

“Nearly all companies have made formal commitments to provide a safe and healthy work environment; and most companies also track and report on their performance in this area and show evidence of efforts to improve their performance on health and safety,” the report’s summary said.

However, the summary goes on to highlight that while many of the surveyed companies had implemented systemic OHS and environmental impact management strategies, there was still 331 fatalities reported among the surveyed companies in 2015 and 2016.

The report added that many companies “show little action on other issues, beyond this core responsibility on occupational health and safety”.

Companies were scored in terms of best practice implementation, split into subcategories: commitment, action and effectiveness.

The top five performers in descending order were AngloGold Ashanti (South Africa), Anglo American (London-headquartered multinational), Codelco (Chile), Freeport-McMoRan (United States) and Glencore (UK-Switzerland).

The five worst performing companies in the ‘working conditions’ category, also in descending order, were Navoi MMC (Uzbekistan), NMDC (India), Zijin (China), Grupo México (Mexico) and Rusal (Russia).

In fact, Navoi MMC received the lowest results in five of the six categories with the exception of ‘economic development’, where Newcrest scored slightly lower.