Material 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 assessments 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 continuously measures its employees’ lead levels in order to assure their health.

403–3  Occupational health services

All Boliden employees have access to occupational health services in 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 ­analyzed, 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

In 2018, an agreement was reached on the frequency and organization of Boliden’s Top Management meetings with union representatives. The new agreement is based on the European Workers’ Council Directive and the meeting rate is now 4 per year. Worker participation, consultation and communication on occupational health and safety is also a requirement of ISO 45001:2018.

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 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 programs.

Boliden conducts biannual safety culture surveys where all 5,800 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 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.

The working environment in Boliden has the highest priority and the group has a zero vision for accidents. A strong safety culture, coupled with proactive risk work, will help Boliden achieve success. In 2018, more than 115 Boliden managers attended a Safety Leadership Masterclass. A second level, bottom-up training package is now scheduled at many units for 2019. This is expected to create an even stronger safety culture in the future.

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 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. Promotion of worker health is a requirement of ISO 45001:2018, Workers’ health is also an important topic during the annual BeSAfe Days.

The number of lost time injuries decreased by 18% in 2018 compared to 2017. BA Smelters reported a 37% reduction, which is an extraordinary achievement in the industry. This is due to the continued focus on leadership commitment, preventive risk management, and better employee 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 2018. 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 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.

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 working in Boliden’s 11 units.

403–9  Work-related injuries

The number of accidents leading to absence from work (LTI) decreased by 18% in 2018 from 6.3 to 5.1 per one million hours worked. In 2018, 30 (47) 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 77 (94). The number of work days of absence due to accidents among Boliden’s employees was 475 (1,268).

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

 

2016

2017

2018

       

Sweden

7.3

3.5

3.3

Norway

5.4

2.0

0.0

Finland

8.1

8.5

3.5

Ireland

1.9

4.8

2.8

Group

6.7

5.0

3.1

LTI Frequency1) Boliden contractors

 

2016

2017

2018

       

Sweden

11.3

9.0

7.3

Norway

8.1

0.0

0.0

Finland

11.7

10.9

11.7

Ireland

0.0

2.4

8.3

Group

10.3

8.7

8.6

LTI Frequency1) employees and contractors

 

2016

2017

2018

       

Sweden

8.5

5.5

4.7

Norway

6.3

1.3

0.0

Finland

9.5

9.5

6.7

Ireland

1.4

4.1

4.5

Group

7.9

6.3

5.1

Lost day rate 1) Boliden employees

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

Work days

2016

2017

2018

       

Sweden

99

51

28

Norway

118

253

0

Finland

184

237

53

Ireland

525

226

163

Group

172

135

49

Sick leave rate 1) Boliden employees

Percentage

2016

2017

2018

       

Sweden

4.5

4.5

4.3

Norway

4.7

7.5

7.2

Finland

4.5

4.6

4.5

Ireland

3.4

3.5

4.2

Group

4.4

4.5

4.5

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)

Work-related fatalities are very rare within Boliden.

Work-related fatalities employees and contractors

Percentage

2016

2017

2018

       

Employees

0

0

0

Contractors

0

0

0

Total

0

0

0

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 followed up on unit level. There is a plan to follow up this data on Group level starting 2019.