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Health and Safety

Building a positive culture of safety, high-potential risk control, occupational health and hygiene, and our safety performance against leading and lagging indicators.

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

Health and Safety

The importance of health and safety is reflected in the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) 10 Principles. ICMM Principle 5, to “pursue 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. 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.

While Teck had no fatalities in 2016, among members in the ICMM there was an overall increase in the number of fatalities and injuries in 2016 compared to 2015.9 The majority of fatalities were attributed to a fall of ground in underground mines, mobile equipment and transportation. These results remind us that there is still more work to be done industry-wide to improve safety. 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 occupational diseases.

Strong sustainability practices are an essential part of reducing risk, lowering costs, recruiting talented people, increasing access to opportunity, and building long-term shareholder value, and health and safety is a core part of our approach to sustainability. Protecting the health and safety of our workforce is fundamental to achieving long­-term success and upholding our commitment to sustainability.

Poor 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. In 2017, we achieved our best-ever safety performance. We had no fatalities, and 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.


(9) Benchmarking 2016 Safety Data: Progress of ICMM Members. International Council on Mining and Metals.

Teck's Approach to Health and Safety

The Board of Directors, through its Safety and Sustainability Committee, broadly oversees health, safety, environment and community policies, systems, performance and auditing, including implementation of our Health, Safety, Environment and Community (HSEC) Management Standards. Health and safety incidents are reported as they occur, in monthly company-wide performance reports and on a quarterly basis to the HSEC Risk Management Committee, which is made up of several members of our executive management team.

The following senior leaders are involved in implementing the management of health and safety:

  • The Senior Vice President, Sustainability and External Affairs reports directly to our CEO and is responsible for sustainability, health and safety, environment, community, and Indigenous affairs
  • The Vice President, Health and Safety leads our efforts from the corporate head office in supporting relevant education and training on Teck’s health and safety policies and practices for employees across all operations
     

We also have an executive Health and Safety Advisory Committee to evaluate and inform health and safety policy change and initiative planning, and to provide additional oversight of performance.

For executive compensation, health and safety performance is measured through year-over-year statistics on lost-time and disabling injury frequency and high-potential incident frequency, together with our performance against leading indicators based on our strategic objectives. Using both leading and lagging indicators aligns our bonus plan payout levels with how well we manage and evaluate health and safety performance across Teck. Other employee bonus plans contain the same health and safety component.

Mining and processing involves the handling of large volumes of materials, the use of heavy equipment, and potentially hazardous processes. 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 morale and reputation, productivity, and labour costs, and can result in fines and other liabilities.

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 occupational diseases.

Our Health and Safety Policy outlines our commitment to providing leadership and resources for embedding core values of health and safety across our company. Health and safety is also included within our Code of Sustainable Conduct, Expectations for Suppliers and Contractors, and Code of Ethics.

We work with various local, national and international organizations and programs to incorporate best practice of health and safety into our management systems.

  • International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM): A global industry association that represents leading international mining and metals companies who are required to implement the ICMM 10 Principles, including Principle 5 on health and safety performance
     
  • Mining Association of Canada (MAC): Promotes the development of Canada's mining and mineral processing industry. Through MAC, we are required to implement the Towards Sustainable Mining program, which aids in improving industry performance
     
  • International Zinc Association (IZA): A non-profit organization that promotes the role that zinc plays in product applications, human health and crop nutrition
     
  • The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH): A global health partnership hosted by the World Health Organization whose mission is to scale up life-saving interventions for women and children
     
  • Zinc Alliance for Child Health: Through our Zinc & Health program, Teck is partnered with UNICEF, Nutrition International and the Government of Canada to create the Zinc Alliance for Child Health to increase the use of zinc and oral rehydration salts for the treatment of diarrhea

We have a three-pillar approach within our current health and safety strategy – building a positive culture of safety, identifying and effectively controlling our high-potential risks, and enhancing our prevention of occupational disease. These three areas drive continual improvement and support our vision of everyone going home safe and healthy every day. We continuously seek to strengthen and achieve a balance between the cultural and technical aspects of our health and safety program, and ensure that these two aspects are complementary with one another.

Figure 1: Three-Pillar Approach

Teck’s Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL) program focuses on challenging existing values, beliefs and attitudes towards health and safety, and builds commitment from individuals to work in a healthy and safe manner. The program, rolled out in a series of phases, seeks to empower every employee to be a leader in health and safety by playing an active role in his or her own health and safety as well as the health and safety of those around them.

Our most recent phase of CSL supports supervisors and other positional leaders in being an effective health and safety coach within the teams that they manage. They help our teams actively explore and respond to their health and safety strengths, opportunities and safe production challenges.

Courageous Safety Leadership Principles

The CSL program is based on six principles:

  • I am responsible for my safety and for the safety of those around me
  • 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
  • My values, beliefs, attitudes, behaviours and actions have an impact on me and on others, both at work and at home.
  • A safe operation is a productive operation
  • We achieve excellence in safety through a positive culture of safety and strong technical programs
  • Safety is a core value at Teck and will not be compromised for any reason

To proactively identify and mitigate high-potential risks, we maintain our High-Potential Risk Control (HPRC) strategy, 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 — measures that, when implemented, are more effective in preventing an unwanted event — 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. Follow-up effectiveness reviews help to validate that changes from risk assessments are being put into practice. Progress on the Work Team Risk Assessments is tracked on a monthly basis and it is considered as a component of Teck’s bonus plan.

We track all safety incidents and classify significant incidents as High-Potential Incidents (HPIs), Serious HPIs or Potentially Fatal Occurrences (PFOs). We are committed to investigating all significant incidents to comprehensively understand root causes and take actions to prevent 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. Analyzing and learning from these incidents allows us to better identify and target actions for high-risk factors across our operations.

In accordance with our Occupational Health and Hygiene Strategy, we limit worker exposure to harmful substances by understanding our exposure risks and by providing personnel with suitable controls to protect their longer-term health, custom fit for their body type and size.

The development of our occupational hygiene programs is led by our Occupational Health and Hygiene Committee. These programs are designed to limit worker exposure to potentially harmful substances and other sources of occupational disease. This includes exposure to dust, noise, vibration and hazardous chemicals. Our Teck-wide standard — Requirements for Occupational Hygiene Programs — provides consistent guidance for the management and monitoring of occupational exposures across the company.

The Committee has also developed a standard training program to ensure our hygiene sampling efforts produce high-quality monitoring data on which to evaluate our progress. All operations have developed exposure reduction plans, and progress is tracked as part of monthly health and safety reporting. Progress against our plans is also a component of our bonus program.

Employee Health and Wellness

Our company-wide Health and Wellness strategy focuses on improving physical and mental well-being of our employees. Programs under this strategy include mental health campaigns, flu clinics and site-specific health and wellness workshops and fitness facilities. One of the most successful initiatives under the program is our Know Your Numbers Campaign, which provides free cardiovascular health screening that measures several indicators, including blood pressure, cholesterol, casual glucose and body mass index.

Teck maintains drug and alcohol policies, which include post-incident and reasonable cause testing. Outside of Canada, all of our operations have drug and alcohol policies that allow for testing, including random testing as permitted under local laws.

Table 1: Health and Safety Internal and External Audits

Type

Organization

Items Audited

External

Mining Association of Canada: Towards Sustainable Mining audit

Policy, Commitment and Accountability
Planning, Implementation and Operation
Training, Behaviour and Culture
Monitoring and Reporting
Performance

External

International Council on Mining and Metals: Sustainability Report assurance

Number of fatalities
Number of lost-time injuries 
Lost-time injury frequency
Principle 5: Pursue continual improvement in health and safety performance with the ultimate goal of zero harm

Internal

Risk-based Health, Safety and Environment audits at each site

Adherence to regulatory and permit requirements; effectiveness of controls based on risk profile


Following each of these audits, applicable management teams use the results to inform future actions and Teck’s five-year planning process.

Our Performance in Health and Safety in 2017

Building a Positive Culture of Safety

This year, we commenced implementation of the fourth phase of our Courageous Safety Leadership (CSL) program. 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. For CSL4, we created a one-day training session that builds on previous phases of the program for both employees and contractors. CSL4 requires front-line leaders to facilitate a six-hour session with their teams to explore our culture of safety — including safety strengths, safety opportunities and safe production challenges. For each of these areas, they identify and select commitments to work on as a team to help improve their safety journey. They must also identify a means to hold each other accountable for achieving their commitments.

In 2017, we surpassed our goal of training at least 60% of employees on CSL4, with a total of more than 6,000 employees, representing 85% of our operational workforce, participating. Employee feedback on the program was positive, and we will continue to implement CSL4 throughout the company in 2018.

As part of Teck’s culture of safety, it is critical that new employees and contractors understand the importance of CSL, the journey we have been on to develop our culture and safety improvements, and the part they can play in moving it forward. During the year, we had a working group complete the development of an Introduction to CSL program for new hires. All new hires to Teck will be required to complete this module within approximately six months of joining the company. Introduction to CSL will be rolled out across the company in 2018.

High-Potential Risk Control

As part of our High-Potential Risk Control (HPRC) strategy, we set a target for each operation to complete four Work Team Risk Assessments and six Effectiveness Reviews in 2017. The Corporate Health and Safety team supported operations to reach their target by undertaking dedicated HPRC coaching sessions across operations to review risk assessment and effectiveness review quality. We also developed improved guidance for what “good” looks like, both for risk assessments and for effectiveness reviews. As of the end of the year, all operations met or exceeded their targets for 2017. As a result of our improved risk assessment efforts across the company, we identified and shared stories of positive change. Teams across the company have tightened their controls for several key serious injury and fatality risks. We will continue to identify and share more stories in 2018.

Occupational Health and Hygiene

In 2017, 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 to incorporate these indicators into health and safety performance reporting.

We set a lead indicator target for 2017 for every operation (excluding those in closure planning) to complete the development of an exposure reduction plan. The objective of these plans is to demonstrate how each operation will address the outcomes of their exposure risk assessment completed in 2016, and to meet the requirements of the company’s standard for occupational hygiene programs. At the end of 2017, all of our operations successfully developed their plans, which are linked to company-wide business plans and associated budgets. We also continued our exposure risk assessment efforts by completing assessments at our CESL facility and at the Sullivan Mine legacy property in B.C., and at exploration activities in Turkey.

As part of our broader occupational health and hygiene strategy, we completed planning for the introduction of a new software application to significantly improve the capture and management of our occupational exposure monitoring data. The project will be piloted at our Trail Operations in 2018, followed by company-wide implementation thereafter.

Our Occupational Health and Hygiene Committee completed the development of a comprehensive sampling training program in 2017. The objective of the program is to provide all personnel who have a role in collecting hygiene samples with standard training for the collection of quality samples — including the collection of respirable particulate samples, and noise monitoring and mapping. The training program was piloted with a group of personnel from our North American operations and will be fully implemented in 2018.

Finally, in 2017, we began developing health and safety design criteria for use in project design. Teck also continues to work with ICMM on good practice guidance for occupational exposure controls (e.g., dust controls).

Safety Performance

In 2017, 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 12% compared to 2016. High-Potential Incident Frequency was 14% lower than in 2016; our Lost-Time Disabling Injury Frequency decreased by 14%. 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 16.

Despite our progress in safety in 2017, we are deeply saddened to report that on April 9, 2018, an incident occurred resulting in the death of an employee of a contract company. We are saddened by this tragic incident, and are currently conducting an investigation. A more detailed account of the incident will be reported in the 2018 Sustainability Report.

Table 16: Health and Safety Performance(1),(2), (3), (4), (5), (6)

 

2017

2016

2015

2014

Total Recordable Injury Frequency

1.01

1.13

1.27

1.03

Lost-Time Injuries

89

73

84

74

Lost-Time Injury Frequency

0.45

0.42

0.47

0.41

Disabling Injury Frequency

0.17

0.28

0.27

0.26

Lost-Time Disabling Injury Frequency

0.62

0.72

0.74

67

Lost-Time Injury Severity

24.4

28.4

18.6

80.9

Number of Fatalities

0

0

0

2

(1) Our safety statistics include both employees and contractors at all of our locations (operations, projects, closed properties, 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.
(2) Increase in severity in 2014 is a consequence of the two fatalities, which are automatically counted as 6,000 lost days.
(3) A Lost-Time Injury is an occupational injury that results in loss of one or more days beyond the initial day of the injury from the employee's scheduled work beyond the date of injury.
(4) A Disabling Injury is a work related injury, which by orders of a Qualified Practitioner, designates a person although at work, unable to perform their full range of regular work duties on the next scheduled work shift after the day of the injury.
(5) A fatality is defined as a work-related injury that results in the loss of life. This does not include deaths from occupational disease or illness.
(6) Frequency indicators in this table are calculated by the number of events in the period multiplied by 200,000 and divided by the number of exposure hours in the period. Hours of exposure refers to the total number of actual hours worked by employees and contractors at a site where one or more employees/contractors are working or are present as a condition of their employment and are carrying out activities related to their employment duties. Hours of exposure may be calculated differently from site to site; for example, time sheets, estimations and data from human resources are inputs into the total number of exposure hours.


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. For Tables 17, 18 and 19, workers’ compensation claims data are for accepted claims over the past four years, and are for employees only; contractor data is not included.

As our systems for reporting occupational diseases continue to mature, we fully expect occupational disease cases and rates to increase in the short to medium term. This is a reflection of the long latency period associated with the development of occupational disease. However, at the same time, we will also continue to enhance our application of improved risk-based controls to prevent occupational diseases.

Table 17: Occupational Diseases Cases(1)(2)(3)

Disease Category

2017

2016

2015

2014

Respiratory Disorders

3

1

3

2

Hearing Loss

5

9

15

12

Musculoskeletal Disorders

6

9

9

14

Cancer

0

0

1

3

Other Medical Disorders

4

2

1

0

Total

18

21

29

31

(1) Does not include global exploration or marketing offices.

(2) Occupational diseases are defined as an adverse, generally chronic and irreversible health effect associated with overexposure to chemical, physical or biological agents in the workplace (e.g., silicosis, bladder cancer, berylliosis, metal fume fever, asthma).

(3) The reporting for hearing loss may be under-reported, due to limited data availability.
 

Table 18: Occupational Disease Cases by Gender

 

2017

2016

2015

2014

Female

2

0

1

5

Male

16

21

25

23

Total

18

21

29

31

 
Table 19: Occupational Disease Rate

 

2017

2016

2015

2014

Total Occupational Disease Rate (per 200,000 hours)

0.09

0.12

0.17

0.17

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

0.47

0.61

0.84

0.83

Since we began the tracking of High-Potential Incidents (HPIs) in 2010, we have seen an overall decrease in HPI frequency. 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. While total HPI frequency and severity has declined, our business units and operations continue to experience HPIs. As such, we continue to focus on improving our understanding of high-potential risk and control effectiveness.

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. While total HPI frequency and severity has declined, our business units and operations continue to experience HPIs. As such, we continue to focus on improving our understanding of high-potential risk and control effectiveness.

Figure 19: High-Potential Incident Performance


In 2017, there were two Potentially Fatal Occurrences reported at Teck-operated locations, which were investigated and for which corrective actions were developed. Where relevant, the results are shared with all of our operations in order to facilitate a local gap analysis against the findings to prevent similar occurrences.

Process Safety Events

Process safety events are those that typically involve an unexpected mechanical integrity failure in a pipeline system or processing facility that may result in a fire, explosion, rupture or hazardous chemical leak. During the year, we reported six process safety events from our total high-potential incidents. All high-potential incidents (including process safety events) were thoroughly investigated to identify corrective actions to minimize the potential for reoccurrence.

Outlook for Health and Safety

Safety is a core value at Teck, and we are committed to continuously improving our performance. In 2018, 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.

Innovation and Technology to Improve Health and Safety

As we advance our health and safety strategies, we are investigating and testing several technologies that have potential to reduce harm to our workforce. These include:

  • Evaluation of trials that have been completed on fatigue detection and intervention technology
  • Further evaluation of proximity detection technology to reduce the risk of light vehicle and heavy vehicle interaction
  • Pilot implementation of real-time exposure monitoring devices to assist in the pinpointing of activities requiring enhanced exposure control
  • Continued adoption of improved respiratory protection devices that are more comfortable for the user and that provide a higher level of protection for respirable particulates

We will share results of these trials across our operations.

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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.