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Workers discussing safety

Stories by Hydro

Safety first, and always

Safety is of course our number one priority. Here is how we strive to create a safe working environment and foster safe behavior among our employees and contractors.

Our most important goal is zero fatalities, but we also commit much of our efforts to prevent injuries. Some of our site among the 40 countries where we operate experience zero injuries over time, but accidents do happen.

Brian Jones
By Brian Jones, Head of HSE in Hydro

We are in the business of mining bauxite, refining alumina and producing primary aluminium and aluminium products for our customers; in addition, we own and operate hydropower facilities. Each of these businesses have their own special risks that can lead to injury, and yes, a fatality.

To concentrate our efforts where they can have the greatest benefit, we have created a systematic approach called the Critical 7. Each one of these topics addresses how to identify a type of risk, minimize the risk in the physical workplace and create behaviors among employees and contractors that can help keep them safe.

The Critical 7

Energy Isolation – Much of our machinery have moving parts that can cause injury or death. Securing energy supply means, for example, that stored mechanical or hydraulic energy cannot be released while an employee is performing maintenance.

Mobile Equipment (fork-lift trucks, etc.) – Separating pedestrians from moving vehicles with barriers, fences and gates helps prevent accidents.

Overhead Cranes – Proper protocols on using overhead cranes when moving and storing heavy items such as aluminium billets.

Fall Prevention – Barriers and fences to prevent falls, and life lines, anchorage points, and full body harnesses while working at height.

Confined Space Entry – Mitigating risks of fire, asphyxiation and drowning by restricting access, while ensuring only trained rescue personnel enter such spaces in case of an accident.

Molten Metal – Risks include explosion when molten metal comes into contact with water or other liquids. Mitigation includes restricting drinks containers, wearing proper protection at all times, and fall-prevention equipment when working near molten metal sources.

Contractor management – We have contractors at many sites, and it is critical that they comply with the same HSE requirements as employees.

No system or policy can guarantee safety. But through a combination of a safe work environment, best practices in safety management, and not least, an engaged workforce focused on the well-being of themselves and their colleagues, the goal of zero injuries is within reach.

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