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Emergency Preparedness

Preventing and being prepared to respond to emergencies.
 
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Why was Emergency Preparedness a Material Topic in 2016?

Over the past few years, a number of high-profile incidents have significantly impacted companies and communities, which underscores the importance of emergency planning and management systems. These incidents can result from external factors such as natural disasters and pandemics, or from business activities such as spills and dam failures. While governments and companies must work with communities to mitigate risks whenever possible, equally important is the ability to respond and recover from these extreme events when they arise. 

Mining can pose significant health, safety and environmental risks to employees and communities. Certain risks, such as the health and safety of our workforce and tailings management, have the potential to become emergencies if not managed properly. Recent tailings facility incidents at other companies, in particular, have reinforced the need for comprehensive emergency planning.

The importance of emergency preparedness is reflected in the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) 10 Principles, one of which is to “implement risk management strategies based on valid data and sound science." This also states that member companies must develop, maintain and test effective emergency response procedures in collaboration with potentially affected parties.

 

The safety of our people, the environment and neighbouring communities is critical. We take our responsibility seriously to ensure that measures are taken to mitigate risks. We recognize that maintaining strong relationships with our communities of interest and ensuring business continuity depend on our ability to effectively manage risks and to be prepared to respond in a timely and appropriate manner, should an emergency occur. Recent tailings incidents at other companies have underscored for Teck the importance of continued focus on emergency planning and management systems.

Performance Highlights

190

the number of drills/scenarios conducted in 2016

Snapshot

Mine Rescue Training Across our Operations and Performance in Competitions

Mine rescue training is a critical part of emergency preparedness at Teck’s operations. Our mine rescue teams often compete in regional and national competitions as a way to hone skills and share best practices.

In June 2016, Teams from Teck’s B.C. operations took home several awards at the Annual Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid competition in Kimberley, B.C., as follows:

  • Greenhills Operations won the Overall Surface Mine Rescue Trophy, Three-Person First Aid Trophy, Levitt Fire Safety Trophy and HVC Highest Non-Aggregate Points Trophy
  • Elkview Operations won the Ron Brow Memorial (Best Surface Extrication), Maurice Boisse Memorial Trophy (Best Practical Bench Skills) and East Kootenay Mines Industrial Safety Association Trophy (Best Written)
  • The team from the former Sullivan Mine won Best Bench Technician Trophy (David Heathfield), Best Underground Performance in Smoke, and Best Obstacle and Recovery (Keith Bracewell Memorial)

The competition also awarded individuals for their performance. Gerry Wong from our Highland Valley Copper Operations won the Chief Inspectors Award, and Amanda Cunliffe from Greenhills won the Kathy Lofstrom Memorial Trophy for Best Three-Person First Aid Coach.

Learn more about the Annual Provincial Mine Rescue and First Aid competition on the Mining Association of British Columbia website.

Our Targets and Commitments

We are committed to effective crisis management and emergency preparedness at all of our operations. All Teck operations meet or exceed the Mining Association of Canada’s Towards Sustainability Mining (TSM) protocol requirements for tailings management.

How Does Teck Manage Emergency Preparedness?

We identify a comprehensive range of potential emergencies and ensure we are prepared to respond to, and recover from, these situations as quickly and effectively as possible. The vast majority of potential hazards are prevented through robust risk management measures, including emergency response planning. Annual reviews of the emergency preparedness of our operations ensure the necessary resources are available to effectively respond if such a situation occurs. Emergency preparedness and planning is conducted at a corporate and site level as well as within the communities near our operations, as outlined in Figure 19. 

Figure 19: Emergency Preparedness at Corporate, Sites and Communities 

 

Our framework within Teck’s Global Risk Management Program guides the process of:

  • Identifying hazards
  • Assessing the risks associated with those hazards
  • Applying relevant controls to minimize the potential of risks
  • Ensuring appropriate plans and resources are put in place to respond to emergencies that may occur

 

Standards for emergency preparedness, which were originally established in 1984 through our Corporate Loss Prevention Guidelines, are updated on a regular basis as required. With the support and guidance of our Risk Group, each operation develops site-specific emergency preparedness and response plans based upon those requirements. As such, emergency response plans and preparations are appropriate for site-specific conditions and are based on a range of credible — although extremely unlikely — incident scenarios.

Each of our operations develops, implements and maintains various components of emergency response plans.

Table 38: Emergency Response Plan Components and Examples

Components

Examples

Clearly defined roles/responsibilities

  • Identifying, equipping and training first responders

Emergency response guidelines and procedures

  • Security
  • Medical
  • Fire and explosion
  • Special considerations (earthquake, avalanche, tailings dam breach)

Communication systems and procedures

 

  • Establishing internal and external communication mechanisms
  • Call-out procedures
  • Musters and/or evacuations
  • Media (reporters, social, etc.) management

Response and control

 

  • Organizational structure and responsibilities
  • Reviews and inspections (internal/external)
  • Capital replacement plans
  • Continuous improvement

Internal emergency response

 

  • Plans for addressing emergencies within Teck’s facilities, including scope, personnel involved, training, facilities and equipment, and maintenance

External emergency response

  • Plans for addressing emergencies outside of Teck’s facilities, including mutual aid agreements, joint responsibilities and other agreements
  • Contractor service agreements
  • Medical treatments, including availability, means of transport and transport time

Testing and training for emergency situations

 

  • Scheduling and conducting exercises and simulations
  • Ongoing tabletop reviews
  • Collaborative effort by operations, the Risk Group, Corporate Crisis Management Team and occasionally with multi-jurisdictional participation

Incident investigation procedures

  • Maintaining documentation
  • Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM) or other form of investigation
  • Sharing of lessons learned

Other Teck locations, such as exploration sites and major projects, have a similar emergency preparedness process that is tailored to the unique needs of the situation. For example, because exploration teams are largely mobile and may be in place for only a short time, they need to be prepared to deal with unplanned natural disasters, but may not need to address risk to infrastructure.

Each operation develops, implements and maintains various components of an emergency response plan, including: 

 

Components

Example

Clearly defined roles/responsibilities

  • Identifying, equipping and training first responders

Emergency response guidelines and procedures

  • Security
  • Medical
  • Fire and explosion
  • Special considerations (earthquake, avalanche, tailings dam breach)

Communication systems and procedures

 

  • Establishing internal and external communication mechanisms
  • Call-out procedures
  • Musters and/or evacuations
  • Media (reporters, social, etc.) management

Response and control

 

  • Organizational structure and responsibilities
  • Reviews and inspections (internal/external)
  • Capital replacement plans
  • Continuous improvement

Internal emergency response

 

  • Plans for addressing emergencies within Teck’s facilities, including scope, personnel involved, training, facilities and equipment and maintenance

External emergency response

  • Plans for addressing emergencies outside of Teck’s facilities, including mutual aid agreements, joint responsibilities and other agreements
  • Contractor service agreements
  • Medical treatments, including availability, means of transport and transport time

Testing and training for emergency situations

 

  • Scheduling and conducting exercises and simulations
  • Ongoing tabletop reviews
  • Collaborative effort by operations, the Risk Group, Corporate Crisis Management Team and occasionally with multi-jurisdictional participation

Incident investigation procedures

  • Maintaining documentation
  • Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM) or other form of investigation
  • Sharing of lessons learned

Other Teck locations, such as exploration sites and major projects, have a similar emergency preparedness process that is tailored to the unique needs of the situation. For example, because exploration teams are largely mobile and may be in place for only a short time, they need to be prepared to deal with unplanned natural disasters, but may not need to address risk to infrastructure.

Our Emergency Preparedness and Response planning is focused on addressing scenarios based on site-specific event risk and probability. One of the key risks in environment and safety is related to tailings storage facilities. For example, our emergency preparedness activities for tailings storage facilities include the following:

  • Warning systems
  • Defined alert levels for instrumentation
  • Stockpiled materials for emergency berms/buttresses
  • Mutual aid agreements with local emergency responders, where relevant
  • Hazard tracking (e.g., storm warnings)
  • Training for operators and mine management
  • Contingency plans for upset conditions
  • Business continuity and business recovery plans
  • Consultation and public communications plan
  • Testing of response plan

 

Ongoing tabletop reviews and live simulations are conducted on a regular basis for a variety of scenarios and occasionally with the participation of external stakeholders. 

What Was Our Performance in Emergency Preparedness in 2016?

While emergency preparedness is an ongoing effort, we undertook several notable simulations in 2016 as outlined below. These examples are in addition to our ongoing emergency preparedness planning and training held across our operations.

Table 38: 2016 Emergency Preparedness Performance Highlights

Category

Examples of Site-Specific Simulations

Natural Disasters

Simulation of two employees at the Santiago Exploration office in Chile being washed away in flash floods.    

 

Transportation-Related Emergencies

 

Simulation of a collision between a railcar and a light-duty vehicle, and the responding emergency plan at Trail Operations. Multi-jurisdictional exercise involving Teck personnel, community stakeholders and Tadanac residents to successfully rescue victims and mitigate collision impacts.

Simulation of a concentrate truck accident at Carmen de Andacollo Operations. Teck personnel successfully worked with the local Andacollo Emergency Response Brigade to overcome several additional challenges and contain the incident.

Outlook for Emergency Preparedness

Moving forward, we will continue to identify a comprehensive range of potential emergencies and ensure we are prepared to respond to, and recover from, emergency situations as quickly and as effectively as possible. In 2017, all operations and sites will continue with emergency training as outlined by corporate and area-specific requirements, and the corporate risk group will continue to provide company-wide support with various tabletop exercises and field simulation training events. 

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Teck is a diversified resource company committed to responsible mining and mineral development with business units focused on copper, zinc, steelmaking coal and energy.