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Health and Safety of Our Workforce

Management approach and performance of health and safety including occupational health and hygiene.

GRI Indicators
403-103, 403-1, 403-2, 403-3, 403-4

Why was Health and Safety of Our Workforce a Material Topic in 2016?

Every day, 6,300 people die as a result of occupational accidents or work-related diseases - more than 2.3 million deaths per year - and 317 million accidents occur on the job annually, many of these resulting in extended absences from work(5). Many of these tragedies are preventable through the implementation of sound prevention and management practices. The International Labour Organization (ILO) has created occupational safety and health standards to provide tools for governments, employers and workers to enhance workplace safety. The United Nations prioritized improvements in health and safety worldwide with the establishment in 2015 of Goal 3 of their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “good health and well-being."

(5) International Labour Standards on Occupational Safety and Health’

Mining and processing involves the handling of large volumes of materials, the use of heavy equipment, and potentially hazardous production processes. The potential health risks associated with mining can affect the advancement of SDG 3. These include occupational hazards and increased risk factors for cardiovascular, respiratory and mental illness.

The importance of health and safety is reflected in the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) 10 Principles. ICMM Principle 5, to “seek continual improvement of our health and safety performance”, states that member companies must implement management systems focused on continual improvement of health and safety performance and take all practical and reasonable measures to eliminate workplace fatalities, injuries and diseases among employees and contractors. Among ICMM members, there was an overall increase in the number of fatalities and injuries in 2015 compared to 2014(6). The majority of fatalities were attributed to machinery, transportation or a fall of ground in underground mines. We believe the mining industry has a responsibility to ensure that hazards associated with operations are controlled to ensure the safety and longer-term health of workers.

Poor occupational health and safety performance can significantly impact the lives of our employees, their families and the greater communities. Moreover, low performance in health and safety can negatively impact labour costs, productivity, morale and reputation, in addition to resulting in fines and other liabilities.

(6) ‘Benchmarking 2015 safety data: progress of ICMM members’ June 2016. http://www.icmm.com/safety-data-2015

Safety is a core value and strategic priority at Teck; nothing is more important than the health and safety of our people. We recognize our responsibility to identify and mitigate health and safety risks, and we believe it is possible for our people to work without serious injuries and illnesses.

In 2016, there were no fatalities, and we continued to build on our efforts to improve safety performance and reducing incident frequency. While we are pleased with our improvements, we must remain diligent as we work to reach our ultimate goal of everyone going home safe and healthy every day. 

In 2016, we continued to improve the quality of our High-Potential Risk Control strategy implementation, completed development and commenced implementation of the next phase of Courageous Safety Leadership, and built on our Occupational Health and Hygiene Strategy.

Performance Highlights

Approximately 13%

Year-over year reductions in Total Recordable Injury Frequency.

11%

Reduction in Lost-Time Injury Frequency.

12%

Reduction in High-Potential Incident Frequency.

Completed comprehensive occupational exposure risk assessments at

10 operations

and developed a company-wide standard for hygiene programs.

Our Stories

  • Employee Recognition through the Excellence Awards
  • Safety Innovation at Coal Mountain Operations in support of our High-Potential Risk Control Strategy
  • Preparing for Extreme Weather Conditions at Quebrada Blanca
  • Tool Time at Teck: Employee Innovation Improves Safety and Reduces Maintenance Time
  • Teck Teams Excel at BC Annual Mine Safety Awards
  • Greenhills Operations Receives National Safety Trophy
  • Mentorship for Women at Teck Trail Operations
  • Making Working at Heights Safer at Trail Operations
  • Teck Employees ‘Take 5’ for Safety
  • Supporting Mine Rescue Training in Andacollo
  • Developing a Highly Skilled Workforce
  • High-Potential Risk Control Strategy
  • Safe Snowmobiling in the Elk Valley
  • Developing Our Managers
  • Teck’s Health and Wellness Program Saves Lives
  • Using the Incident Cause Analysis Method to Investigate Incidents and Prevent Future Occurrences
  • Keeping Our People Healthy and Safe through Sleep Management
  • Expanding Opportunities for Women at Carmen de Andacollo
  • Taking Steps to Stay Safe
  • Promoting Gender Diversity
  • Employee Recognition Programs
  • Recruitment – See Yourself at Teck
  • People - Building Our Greatest Asset
  • Our Courageous Safety Leadership Journey
  • Supporting SDG 5: Focusing Community Investment on the Empowerment of Women
  • Our Targets and Commitments

    Reduce serious injuries and eliminate fatalities by ensuring our high-potential risks have effective controls in place and by enhancing our culture of safety by 2020.

    Implement improved occupational health and hygiene monitoring and exposure control to protect the longer-term health of workers by 2020.

    Eliminate serious injuries, illnesses and fatalities through effective high-potential risk management by 2030.

    How Does Teck Manage Health and Safety?

    Accountability and oversight of health and safety performance rests at the highest level of our company. Health and safety incidents are reported as they occur, in monthly company-wide performance reports and on a quarterly basis to the Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Risk Management Committee, which is made up of several members of our executive management team.

    The HSEC Risk Management Committee also plays an oversight and governance role in monitoring health and safety at Teck. We have an executive Health and Safety Advisory Committee to inform our five-year health and safety plan and to provide additional oversight of performance, as well as to evaluate emerging health and safety trends and initiatives.

    Our Health and Safety Policy defines our corporate commitment to providing leadership and resources for entrenching core values of health and safety across our company. 

     

    Three-Pillar Approach

    We have a three-pillar approach - embedding a culture of safety, learning from High-Potential Incidents, and operating with excellence - that drives continual improvement and supports our vision of everyone going home safe and healthy every day. Our strategy is to continue to strengthen and achieve a balance between the cultural and technical aspects of our health and safety program, and to ensure that these two streams are complementary with one another.

    We believe that a safe operation is an efficient operation. Applying strong operating standards informed by ILO, ICMM and global best practice helps us to optimize our production and avoid potential injuries.

    Figure 14: Three-Pillar Approach


     

    We believe that employee engagement through leadership and commitment is the key to achieving our health and safety vision, and we have implemented a major initiative to foster a culture of safety at Teck: Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL).

    Launched in 2009, CSL focuses on challenging existing values, beliefs and attitudes towards safety, and builds commitment from individuals to work safely and foster safe practices at our operations. The program, rolled out in a series of phases, seeks to empower every employee to be a safety leader by playing an active role in his or her own safety as well as the safety of those around them. Since its inception, more than 16,000 people have participated in CSL training. In 2015, we engaged a cross-section of Teck employees to help determine the direction of the next phase of CSL. Development of the fourth phase (CSL4) was completed and implementation commenced in 2016. 

    We completed our first company-wide safety culture survey in 2016. Participation in the survey was very strong. Over 5,600 employees and contractors completed the survey to provide us with their views on the many facets of health and safety management, culture, performance and improvement opportunities. The outcomes of the survey were communicated across the company and were used in the development of CSL4.

    Courageous Safety Leadership Principles

    We developed and released six principles for our CSL program in 2016 to our employees and contractors. We believe that these principles and the overall CSL program will help us to achieve our vision of everyone going home safe and healthy every day:

    1. I am responsible for my safety and for the safety of those around me.
    2. I am empowered to be courageous. I must speak up if my safety or the safety of those around me is affected or can be improved.
    3. My values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and actions have an impact on me and on others, both at work and at home.
    4. A safe operation is a productive operation.
    5. We achieve excellence in safety through a positive culture of safety and strong technical programs.
    6. Safety is a core value at Teck and will not be compromised for any reason.

    We foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement in safety performance by analyzing High-Potential Incidents (HPIs), sharing best practices in safety through employee training and development, and participating with our peers in mine safety working groups, including the Mining Safety Roundtable and the ICMM.

    We track all safety incidents and classify significant incidents as HPIs, Serious HPIs or Potentially Fatal Occurrences (PFOs). Analyzing and learning from these incidents allows us to identify and target actions for high-risk tasks. Once we identify the root causes of PFOs, our operations also conduct a gap analysis and implement corrective actions to help prevent incidents from occurring elsewhere in the company.

    We are committed to investigating all HPIs to comprehensively understand root causes and key contributing factors, and we take actions to prevent HPI recurrences. Using the Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM), we consider the contributing factors at the individual, team and organizational levels that led to each incident. Throughout 2016, we applied ICAM to approximately 87 incidents. 

    To proactively identify and mitigate High-Potential Risks, we continued to implement our High-Potential Risk Control (HPRC) strategy in 2016, which has now been implemented at all our operations. This program focuses on improving the way we identify, implement and evaluate the controls that will most effectively prevent serious injury or loss of life.

    The HPRC strategy aims to improve our ability to answer three key questions:

    1. What are our high-potential risks and how do we know?
    2. What critical controls ¾ measures that, when implemented, are more effective in preventing an unwanted event ¾ do we have in place to manage these risks?
    3. What processes do we have in place to give ourselves the confidence that our controls are effective?

     

    Employees across the business are undertaking Work Team Risk Assessments to help answer these questions, look for gaps and work together to close them. All operations met or exceeded our 2016 requirements for undertaking Work Team Risk Assessments. Follow-up effectiveness reviews are helping to validate that changes from risk assessments are being put into practice.

    Operating with excellence in safety means that we focus on implementing supporting systems and standards that continually improve our safety performance. These include the identification of high-potential risks and associated critical controls, as well as standards, auditing, reporting on leading and lagging indicators, technological tools, and ongoing communications and training. As part of our work to manage high-potential risks and improve health and safety performance, we are implementing an occupational health and hygiene program, an employee health and wellness program, and drug and alcohol policies.

    Occupational Health and Hygiene

    The occupational hygiene programs and procedures at our operations help prevent occupational exposures that could give rise to occupational illnesses. These programs and procedures are designed to limit worker exposure to potentially harmful substances and other sources of occupational illness or disease. This includes exposure to dust, noise, vibration and hazardous chemicals.

    In 2016, the Occupational Health & Hygiene Committee continued its work by developing a Teck-wide standard — Requirements for Occupational Hygiene Programs — and a process to assess gaps against the requirements.

    The Requirements for Occupational Hygiene Programs apply to all Teck-controlled operations and activities. The purpose of the Requirements is to help us achieve occupational health and hygiene principles as listed below:

    • The long-term health of employees and contractors is not compromised at work
    • Suitable protection shall be provided for exposures above accepted occupational exposure limits
    • Occupational exposures to chemical, physical and biological agents are understood and controlled
    • New development design is assessed to mitigate health exposures prior to construction
    • Resources to manage occupational health and hygiene risk are based on one or more of the following: risk assessments, health and hygiene professional assessment, quality monitoring results, and regulatory requirements

    The document provides guidance on the effectiveness of occupational hygiene programs, which includes the anticipation, identification, evaluation and control of exposures, and the verification of controls. The requirements document also provides guidance on the minimum training and competency requirements for individuals performing occupational hygiene-related duties at Teck’s operations.

    In 2016, we completed comprehensive assessments of long-term exposure risks at all of our operations, with the exception of two operations that are near closure. Gap assessments and exposure risk assessments will now be used as the basis for exposure control planning priorities going forward. The assessments identified silica, coal dust, diesel engine exhaust emissions, lead, welding fumes, and noise as the most commonly encountered and potentially harmful exposure agents in our workplaces. We will use the outcomes of our risk assessments to refine our control strategies for these exposures.   

    We also commenced reporting of occupational disease cases and frequency (see below); draft Fitness for Work Requirements have also been developed, which will be completed in 2017.

    Employee Health and Wellness

    Our company-wide Health and Wellness strategy, which focuses on improving physical and mental well-being, continued to be implemented in 2016. The strategy brings together initiatives and resources across the company and builds on work already underway at sites and offices. One of the most successful initiatives under the program is our Know Your Numbers Campaign, a voluntary health testing program to help employees identify potential health concerns. Know Your Numbers clinics provide free cardiovascular health screening that measures several indicators, including blood pressure, cholesterol, casual glucose and body mass index. In 2016, we conducted these clinics at our Line Creek Operations, CESL Facility, and in the Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary offices, with 388 employees attending.

    Drug and Alcohol Policies

    We take our obligation to provide the safest possible workplace for our employees very seriously. We strongly believe that taking measures to eliminate misuse of drugs and alcohol that can affect at-work performance and safety is an important way we can achieve our vision of everyone going home safe and healthy every day. Teck’s drug and alcohol policies, which include post-incident and reasonable cause testing, have been in place at our steelmaking coal operations for over 10 years, and at our Trail and Highland Valley Copper operations since 2015. Outside of Canada, all of our operations have drug and alcohol policies that allow for testing, including random testing as permitted under local laws.

    Sustainability Strategy Spotlight

    In 2016, as part of our 2020 goal to implement improved occupational health and hygiene monitoring and exposure control to protect the longer-term health of workers, we completed detailed occupational exposure risk assessments at all operations, excluding Quebrada Blanca and Coal Mountain operations as these sites are approaching closure. 

    What was Our Performance in Health and Safety in 2016?

    In the section below, we report on our progress in 2016 against the three pillars of our safety program: values-based organization, learning organization and operating with excellence. We also report on our safety performance against leading and lagging indicators.

    Values-Based Organization

    Implementing Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL) 4

    In 2016, we developed and commenced implementation of the fourth phase of our Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL) program. Based on input and feedback from a survey of employees across the company, we created a new one-day training program that builds on CSL 1, 2 and 3, a series of training programs that have been delivered since 2009 employees and contractors.

    Learning Organization

    Implementing new controls as part of our High-Potential Risk Control strategy

    As part of our emphasis on eliminating fatalities and serious injuries by reducing HPIs and effectively managing high-potential risk, in 2016, we required all operations to complete a target number of Work Team Risk Assessments. All operations met or exceeded these requirements. 

    Operating with Excellence

    Implementing occupational health and hygiene practices

    In 2016, we worked to enhance our occupational health and hygiene risk assessments, monitoring, and exposure controls to protect the long-term health of employees. We also began to develop leading and lagging indicators for occupational health and hygiene reporting, and began to incorporate these indicators into health and safety performance reporting.          

    Safety Performance

    In 2016, we continued to build on our safety performance in areas of greatest risk. There were no fatalities and we improved our Total Recordable Injury Frequency (TRIF) by approximately 13% compared to 2015. High-Potential Incident Frequency was 12% lower than in 2015; our Lost-Time Injury Frequency decreased by 11%. Medical Aid Frequency was also reduced by 23%.   

    Teck’s TRIF is slightly above the average compared to the ICMM, which is made up of many of the world’s largest mining companies. Companies vary in terms of how they define “injury” under TRIF, as does each company's individual culture of reporting, which means that a direct comparison may not be completely accurate. Our safety performance is summarized in Table 28.

     

    Table 28: Health and Safety Performance(1),(2)

     

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    Total Recordable Injury Frequency

    1.11

    1.27

    1.03

    1.27

    Lost-Time Injuries

    73

    84

    74

    69

    Lost-Time Injury Frequency

    0.42

    0.47

    0.41

    0.34

    Disabling Injury Frequency

    0.28

    0.27

    0.26

    Lost-Time Injury Severity

    28.4

    18.6

    80.9

    19

    Number of Fatalities

    0

    0

    2

    0

    (1) Our safety statistics include both employees and contractors at all of our locations (operations, projects, exploration sites, and offices). For sites where Teck owns more than 50%, safety statistics are weighted 100%; for sites where Teck owns 50% or less, safety statistics are weighted according to Teck’s ownership of the operation. This includes the Antamina mine, in which we have a 22.5% interest. We define incidents according to the requirements of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine Safety and Health Administration. Frequencies are based on 200,000 hours worked. Severity is calculated as the number of days missed due to Lost-Time Injuries per 200,000 hours worked. New information or a reclassification of injuries may cause a change in historical data. See our Glossary for definitions of these safety indicators.
    (2) Increase in severity in 2014 is a consequence of the two fatalities, which are automatically counted as 6,000 lost days.

    Table 58: Detailed Safety Performance in 2016

     

    Teck

    Canada

    United States

    Chile

    Other

    Combined

    Employees

    Contractors

    Employees

    Contractors

    Employees

    Contractors

    Employees

    Contractors

    Employees

    Contractors

    Lost-Time Injury Frequency

    0.42

    0.59

    0.19

    0.69

    0.09

    0.47

    0.62

    0.40

    0.34

    0.20

    0.10

    Disabling Injury Frequency

    0.28

    0.32

    0.22

    0.42

    0.28

    0.47

    2.16

    0.00

    0.00

    0.00

    0.00

    Lost-Time Disabling Injury Frequency

    0.70

    0.91

    0.40

    1.11

    0.37

    0.93

    2.78

    0.40

    0.34

    0.20

    0.10

    Medical Aid Frequency

    0.41

    0.45

    0.35

    0.48

    0.45

    1.05

    0.93

    0.13

    0.10

    0.18

    0.37

    Total Recordable Injury Frequency

    1.11

    1.36

    0.75

    1.58

    0.82

    1.99

    3.70

    0.53

    0.43

    0.38

    0.47

    Disabling Injury Severity

    28.39

    42.65

    7.99

    47.90

    6.48

    32.85

    24.08

    46.83

    10.02

    5.10

    5.10

    Lost-Time Injury Severity

    15.00

    22.93

    3.65

    31.36

    5.44

    18.10

    29.64

    0.00

    0.00

    0.00

    0.00

    Approach to Reporting Occupational Diseases

    We report the incidence of occupational diseases at Teck, based on accepted workers’ compensation claims from each jurisdiction in which we work, for the following disease categories:

    • Respiratory disorders
    • Hearing loss/impairment
    • Musculoskeletal illnesses
    • Cancer
    • Other medical disorders

    The tables below summarize the accepted claims for the years 2012–2016.

    Table 29: Number of Occupational Diseases by Year(1)

    Disease Category

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    2012

    Respiratory Disorders

    1

    3

    2

    0

    1

    Hearing Loss(1)

    9

    12

    9

    6

    14

    Musculoskeletal Disorders

    9

    9

    14

    4

    5

    Cancer

    0

    1

    3

    2

    0

    Other

    2

    1

    0

    2

    2

    Annual Total

    21

    26

    28

    14

    22

    (1) The reporting for hearing loss may be under-reported, due to limited data availability. We are working to achieve improved access to this data for 2017.

     

    Table 30: Occupational Disease Cases by Year and Gender

     

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    Female

    0

    1

    5

    1

    Male

    21

    25

    23

    13

    Total

    21

    26

    28

    14

    Table 31: Occupational Disease Rate by Year

     

    2016

    2015

    2014

    2013

    Total Occupational Disease Rate (per 200,000 hours)

    0.12

    0.15

    0.15

    0.07

    Total Occupational Disease Rate (per 1,000,000 hours)

    0.61

    0.73

    0.75

    0.35

     

    For Tables 29, 30 and 31, workers’ compensation claims data are for employees only; contractor data is not included. At the time of reporting, limited data was available from our South American operations. Additional work will be completed in 2017 to improve our understanding of occupational diseases in this part of our business.

    Since tracking of HPIs commenced in 2010, we have seen an overall decrease in HPI frequency (Figure 15). This improvement has been driven by our focus on learning from past incidents, and on sharing lessons learned and associated best practices across our company. Equally, while HPI frequency has declined, our operations continue to generate HPIs every year that could have seriously or fatally injured one or more of our employees or contractors, and we continue to focus on improving performance.

    Figure 15: High-Potential Incident Performance

    In 2016, there were six PFOs reported at Teck-controlled locations, which were investigated and corrective actions were developed. The results are shared with all of our operations in order to facilitate a local gap analysis against the findings to prevent similar occurrences. 

    Outlook for Health and Safety of Our Workforce

    Safety is a core value at Teck and we are committed to continuously improving our performance. In 2017, we will continue to focus on reducing serious injuries and eliminating fatalities by ensuring our high-potential risks have effective controls in place and by enhancing our culture of safety. We will also continue the implementation of the fourth version of our Courageous Safety Leadership program, improve occupational health and hygiene monitoring, and improve exposure controls to protect the longer-term health of workers. On a global stage, we will collaborate with organizations such as ICMM to improve worker health and safety and advance SDG 3 on health and well-being. 

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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.