Sustainability Topic: Occupational Health and Safety

403–1 Occupational health and safety management system

All Boliden units have occupational health&safety management systems in line with OHSAS 18001:2007, which is currently being upgraded to ISO 45001:2018.

403–2 Hazard identification, risk assessment, and ­incident investigation

All units have procedures for risk assessments, hazard identification, 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. Risk assessment is a requirement of ISO 45001:2018 and the certified Boliden units are ­consequently audited internally and externally on their risk assessment processes and performance.

Some parts of Boliden’s workplaces involve a risk of exposure to lead which could lead to lead poisoning. Illness is preventable by avoiding exposure to lead and Boliden constantly measures its employees’ lead levels in order to assure their health. Internal exposure requirements are set higher than legal.

403–3 Occupational health services

All Boliden employees have access to occupational health services in the form of internal and external facilities.

Workplaces are regularly checked with regard to exposure, ergonomics, air quality, noise, and vibrations as part of Boliden’s occupational hygiene monitoring programs. 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.

403–4 Worker participation, consultation and ­communication on occupational health and safety

Boliden’s Top Management meets with union representatives four times per year inline with the European Workers’ Council Directive. Worker participation, consultation and communication on occupational health and safety is also a requirement of ISO 45001:2018, which Boliden follows.

Boliden has also developed additional Group Safety Standards which emphasize daily H&S pulse meetings with worker participation. 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 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 programs.

Boliden conducts biannual safety culture surveys where all employees are provided with an opportunity to assess both leadership and colleagues safety priority. This is a key activity as part of the workers’ participation program designed to improve H&S even further.

403–5 Worker training on occupational health and safety

Worker training in occupational health and safety is a requirement of ISO 45001:2018. Boliden holds annual BeSafe days where all workers are given an opportunity to participate in various form of H&S training. There are also many formal H&S training courses conducted yearly on such subjects as evacuation, fire prevention, first aid and working at height. All operations also regularly provide health & safety training for employees and contractors, to improve knowledge and create a personal commitment to work and act safe at the workplace. More than 200 of Boliden's leaders participated in a Masterclass Safety Leadership Training during the period 2018-2019. A program to train informal leaders to safety ambassadors (Safety Savvy) has also begun at a number of production units.

403–6 Promotion of worker health

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. 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 behavior. Every individual shall be personally willing to act safely. The principle of ‘production is important but your health and safety is more important” must be clearly established in every employee’s mind. This message is communicated clearly during the annual BeSAfe Days.

The number of lost time injuries decreased during 2019 from 77 to 69. The overall reduction of LTI frequency was 14% compared to 2018. The level of contractor accidents reached an all-time low level.

This is due to the continued focus on leadership commitment, preventive risk management, and increased involvement in ­health & safety-related activities. Other important activities which have contributed to the positive results are increased knowledge of how to handle organizational and social work-environment challenges such as stress, unhealthy workloads, and the need for a good work-life balance.

The sick leave rate was stable 2019. 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 who 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 program designed to promote employee 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.

403–7 Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety impacts directly linked by business relationships

Prevention and mitigation of occupational health and safety impacts directly linked by business relationships is a requirement of ISO 45001:2018. Boliden has well-established routines to engage suppliers and contractors in the H&S work, whereby contractors are encouraged to participate in daily pulse meetings covering H&S.

403–8  Workers covered by an occupational health and safety management system

All employees and contractors working in Boliden’s 11 units.

403–9  Work-related injuries

The number of accidents leading to absence from work (LTI) decreased by 14% in 2019 from 5.1 to 4.4 per one million hours worked. In 2019, 40 (30) accidents resulting in absence from work were reported at Boliden’s units by Boliden employees. The most common form of accidents are slip, trip and falls and finger/hand injuries during work with hand tools. Most of the injured persons are back at work after 1-3 days of absence. More than 80 % of the LTI´s are not regarded to be serious accidents. The number of accidents resulting in absence from work, including contractors, was 69 (77). The number of work days of absence due to accidents among Boliden’s employees was 485 (475). Focus is to detect and mitigate serious hazards and risks (RC3) before it becomes accidents. RC3 cases are always followed up with a Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

LTI Frequency1) Boliden employees

 

2017

2018

2019

       

Sweden

3.5

3.3

3.4

Norway

2.0

0.0

7.3

Finland

8.5

3.5

5.1

Ireland

4.8

2.8

2.7

Group

5.0

3.1

4.0

LTI Frequency1) Boliden contractors

 

2017

2018

2019

       

Sweden

9.0

7.3

5.8

Norway

0.0

0.0

0.0

Finland

10.9

11.7

5.7

Ireland

2.4

8.3

2.0

Group

8.7

8.6

5.2

LTI Frequency1) employees and contractors

 

2017

2018

2019

       

Sweden

5.5

4.7

4.2

Norway

1.3

0.0

5.2

Finland

9.5

6.7

5.3

Ireland

4.1

4.5

2.5

Group

6.3

5.1

4.4

Lost day rate1) Boliden employees

Lost days due to injury per 1,000,000 working hours

Work days

2017

2018

2019

       

Sweden

51

28

31

Norway

253

0

213

Finland

237

53

63

Ireland

226

163

19

Group

135

49

49

Sick leave rate1) Boliden employees

Percentage

2017

2018

2019

       

Sweden

4.5

4.3

3.9

Norway

7.5

7.2

6.6

Finland

4.6

4.5

4.8

Ireland

3.5

4.2

4.1

Group

4.5

4.5

4.3


Work-related fatalities employees and contractors

Percentage

2017

2018

2019

       

Employees

0

0

0

Contractors

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0


Work-related fatalities are very rare within Boliden. No work-related fatality on Boliden’s workplaces during the last 10 years of operation.

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) and lost day rate according to GRI, divide the frequency/rate stated above by five. The number of days’ absence for contractors is not reported as there are no reliable data available. 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 currently lacks the ability to monitor sick leave for contractors working for several clients (other than Boliden)

 

403–10  Work-related ill health

Work-related ill health can include acute, recurring, and chronic health problems caused or aggravated by work conditions or practices. This data is mostly followed up on unit level with the local health service providers. The information is partly confidential and is therefore not always possible to share or analyse on higher level. 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 and divided into short and long-term absence.