Occupational health and safety

Aspect Specific DMA

The number of lost time injuries has, in total, decreased compared to 2015. This is due to substantial improvements amongst Bolidens’s contractors. The corresponding number for Boliden’s own personnel has changed for the worse. The general tendencies are good, but some units have a negative development. Leadership commitment and preventive risk management are key areas to improve the performance.

Since contractors are an important part of Boliden’s total safety performance, and the LTI frequency still is comparably high, special attention has continued to be directed to this group. Boliden has declared that contracts will be terminated if suppliers do not meet the safety requirements.

The sick leave rate decreased in 2016. The focus has been on increasing managers’ involvement in the prevention and rehabilitation of ill health during the year. Boliden is reviewing both its rehabilitation work and the potential for finding alternative work that can be performed by employees that are partly injured or have temporarily impaired health. Short- and long-term absence has been monitored, as of 2015, in order to identify the reasons for variations in sick leave between operations. Every operation has an activity programme designed to promote employees’ health.

Boliden’s systematic health and wellness work is based on prevention as well as rehabilitation. A large number of the preventative activities managed by the units focus on identifying lifestyle and environmental factors that may have a negative impact on the level of diseases for some employees.

Employees are encouraged to keep fit and to participate in various sporting activities. Anti-smoking and healthy-eating campaigns are carried out on an ongoing basis.

 

LA5 Representation on health and safety committees

Boliden has health and safety committees at all workplaces where more than fifty employees are working on a regular basis. More than 95% of the workforce is represented by the health and safety committees.

The health and safety committees identify potential hazards, evaluate these potential hazards, recommend corrective actions, and follow up on implemented recommendations. The health and safety committees hold regular meetings and carry out workplace inspections.

The committee members are also available to receive worker concerns and recommendations, to discuss problems, and to provide input into existing and proposed health and safety programmes.

All units have procedures for risk assessments, incident reporting and safety inspections. Boliden also promotes initiatives designed to involve employees on a more informal basis by encouraging them to submit suggestions for health and safety improvements.

LA6 Injuries, occupational diseases, and work-related fatalities

Boliden has a zero-harm philosophy with regards to accidents at work. The goal for each unit is zero accidents every month. Low absentee rates and low injury rates can generally be linked to positive trends in staff morale and productivity.

Boliden has a responsibility to create structures, procedures and other conditions for a safe working environment. Equipment, instructions, risk assessments, incident reporting, safety audits and inspections all help safeguard the individual’s safety. Boliden continuously invests in safer machinery and equipment. All operations also regularly provide safety training for all employees (the term employee also includes, here, any form of supervised worker who is not a contractor) according to a fixed schedule, with a view to improving knowledge and awareness and to providing constant reminders of the importance of working safely.

Whatever the efforts that are put into systems and techniques, however, they will not be sufficient without decisive action on the part of each individual in the form of his or her own behaviour. Every individual must take responsibility and devote time to considering and following the routines essential to accident avoidance. The principle of “safety first at all times” must be clearly established in every employee’s mind.

In 2016, 61 (54) accidents resulting in absence from work were reported at Boliden’s units by Boliden employees. The number of accidents resulting in absence from work, including contractors, was 106 (106). The number of work days (number of calendar days prior to 2016) of absence due to accidents among Boliden’s employees was 1,557 (1,187), an average of 34 (29) days per accident.

The number of reported occupational diseases or data on absenteeism connected to occupational diseases is not included in our reporting since it can take several years before a reported occupational disease is finally accepted or not accepted as an occupational disease by the authorities. The absence is however included in the ordinary sick leave percentage.

LTI Frequency1) Boliden employees

 

2014

2015

1016

Sweden

5.0

8.0

7.3

Norway

10.1

2.0

5.4

Finland

6.7

4.4

8.1

Ireland

6.3

5.7

1.9

Group

5.8

6.6

6.7

LTI Frequency1) Boliden contractors

 

2014

2015

2016

Sweden

13.6

14.8

11.3

Norway

0.0

5.3

8.1

Finland

14.0

16.0

11.7

Ireland

6.4

11.3

0.0

Group

12.6

14.4

10.3 

LTI Frequency1) employees and contractors

 

2014

2015

2016

Sweden

7.8

10.1

8.5

Norway

8.2

2.9

6.3

Finland

9.0

8.6

9.5

Ireland

6.3

6.8

1.4

Group

7.9

8.9

7.9

Lost day rate 2) Boliden employees

Lost days due to injury per 200,000 working hours

Calendar days

2014

2015

2016

Sweden

27

28

20

Norway

29

4

24

Finland

8

5

37

Ireland

128

84

105

Group

37

29

34

Sick leave rate 3) Boliden employees

Percentage

2014

2015

2016

Sweden

4.2

4.4

4.5

Norway

4.5

6.8

4.7

Finland

4.8

4.4

4.5

Ireland

3.8

4.3

3.4

Group

4.3

4.6

4.4

1) The LTI Frequency is calculated per one million working hours and includes all injuries that have caused one day’s absence or more from work after the day of the injury. To calculate the injury rate (IR) according to GRI, divide the LTI frequency stated above by five.

2) The number of days’ absence for contractors is not reported as there is no data available in which lost days are related to work at Boliden’s operating sites and/or on behalf of Boliden.

3) The sick leave rate is the total number of hours’ absence due to injury or disease divided by the total number of scheduled working hours.

Boliden registers accidents and LTI frequency for contractors working on-site, but currently lacks the ability to monitor the lost day rate and sick leave for contractors working for several clients (other than Boliden).

Work-related fatalities are very rare within Boliden. However in December 2016 a fatal accident occurred in connection with Boliden’s operations. During a transportation of sulphuric acid between Harjavalta and Kokkola, a vehicle driving in the opposite direction crossed the median and drove into oncoming traffic, where it crashed into a truck contracted by Boliden.

Work-related fatalities employees and contractors

 

2014

2015

2016

Employees

0

0

0

Contractors

0

0

1

Group

0

0

1

 

LA7 Workers with high incidence or high risk of diseases related to their occupation

Some parts of Boliden’s workplaces involve a risk of exposure to lead. Occupational exposure can cause lead poisoning, and long term exposure at lower concentrations can also cause damage to the human body. Chronic poisoning usually presents itself with different types of symptoms, such as anaemia, neurological and kidney damage. Illness is preventable by avoiding exposure to lead.

Workplaces are regularly checked with regard to exposure, ergonomics, air quality, noise and vibrations as part of Boliden’s occupational hygiene monitoring programmes. The results are analysed, actions taken when called for, and reported to the authorities.

Employees are screened regularly via the occupational health services provided at the workplace to ensure that each individual is fit to perform his or her assigned duties. Any sign of illness that could be associated with work is documented and reported.

LA8 Health and safety topics covered in formal agreements with trade unions

Formal agreements with trade unions cover health and safety aspects to some extent, one example being the Swedish SAM committee. Health and safety aspects are, however, mainly covered by national legislation.

Boliden provides free personal protection equipment at all sites and requires its use in accordance with the work procedures that were established, based on the risk assessments carried out before any work is commenced.

There are joint management/employee health and safety committees on each site, and it is mandatory for safety representatives to participate in health and safety inspections, audits, and accident investigations.

All sites provide training in accordance with a training matrix that defines the mandatory training for each position. The training each person has received is documented in the HR system. The training records serve as a basis for promotion, further training and/or repetition.

Every employee not only has the right, but also the duty to stop any work that is considered to be unsafe. If a hazardous condition is discovered, every employee not only has the right, but the duty to report this via Boliden’s deviation system. All near misses, incidents and accidents are reported via this system and followed up systematically. If a serious deviation occurs, all employees have access to a whistleblower function, where they can file an anonymous report.

Safety inspections are carried out according to schedule at each site. Furthermore, unannounced safety inspections are carried out in conjunction with maintenance work and projects, or for no particular reason at all. Managers, safety coordinators and safety representatives are amongst those who participate in the safety inspections. Group management take part in Group Safety Walks at least once a year, whereby all operational sites are visited and safety issues are discussed with workers on site.