Occupational Health and Safety
CITIC Pacific endeavours to provide a healthy, hygienic and safe working environment. We ensure our workplaces are healthy, issue internal guidelines on safety management, comply with local statutory safety requirements, and provide safety training. What’s more, we encourage our people to participate in social and recreational activities for work-life balance, organise health and stress management activities to promote health awareness.
CITIC Pacific is committed to providing a zero-fatality workplace, our most critical goal. In 2013, we achieved this goal by having a year without work-related fatalities in all our businesses. The following provides more information about the health and safety performance of our major operating business units:
The health and safety performance of our iron ore business in Australia remained generally steady over the year. We noted reductions in recordable injuries, which were welcome results. We also made important progress in our approach to enhancing our health and safety management systems as we moved into production and initial shipment during the year.
Key Indicators for Health and Safety Performance
Recordable Injury: Number & Rolling Frequency Rate in 2012/13
We were well on track in managing the changes in the health and safety risk profile as we moved into production in our iron ore business. We continued to ensure our health and safety management system was in alignment with the operational management plans; stakeholder engagement through regular meetings and other communication channels, including close contact with the Australian regulatory bodies and safety alliances, remained a core part of our approach.
Fibrous Mineral Management
Worker exposure to fibrous minerals remains one of our greatest occupational health concerns. In this regard, a fibrous minerals management committee has been formed for effective control of fibre whereas significant resources have been dedicated to monitoring and better understanding the impacts related to fibre exposure across the life cycle of our product from mining through to shipment, and to modify our controls accordingly.
As we move towards processing, the exposure risk increases. During the year, we prepared for this transition. We expanded the designated areas program that identifies the level of fibre risk across the site and enables appropriate controls to be implemented. We also continued to promote education and awareness through ongoing employee and contractor training programmes, and by developing a “fibrous minerals awareness” booklet. In addition, we sought improvements to respiratory protection equipment by sourcing face masks that are safer and more comfortable, using a fit testing program that ensures masks fit and are worn correctly to prevent exposure. Fibre matter meetings were conducted regularly on site to resolve issues and apply controls to ensure employees have a safe place to work. Overall, significant headway has been made around managing fibrous minerals risk, and delivered innovative solutions (see Case Study below).
Case Study – Leading innovation in managing risk from fibrous minerals
In April 2013, CITIC Pacific Mining (CPM) was recognised for health and safety innovation by winning the 2013 Chamber of Minerals and Energy’s Innovation in Health and Safety Awards for our HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) fibrous minerals filtration system. The awards were designed to showcase industry best practice with the goal of improving local work places.
The HEPA filtration system prevents fibrous minerals such as asbestos from entering vehicle cabins and provides a system for removing airborne dust and fibre from within the cabin. The system is complemented by a comprehensive testing regime that allows the system to maintain its integrity during the life of the vehicle. An alarm is activated when the positive pressure within the cabin drops indicating a leak to atmosphere. A Dispersed Oil Particulate (DOP) testing process is also conducted at regular intervals to ensure the integrity of the system is maintained.
The HEPA filtration system is the result of workers on the ground being actively engaged in the management of, and making continuous attempts to identify increased controls for, exposure to fibrous minerals. The mining team and hygiene team based at CPM’s Sino Iron project collaborated with an external consultant to develop, field test and refine the system.
In the past, workers were required to rely on other form of hazard controls against fibre exposure such as administrative controls and personal protective equipment. The HEPA filtration and DOP testing systems have enabled lifting the fibrous minerals controls to an engineering solution which is critical to improving the health and safety of workers exposed to fibre during the course of their work. Workers are no longer required to wear masks inside the vehicle cabins.
The HEPA system has now been rolled out across the entire mining fleet on site.
Production plants in mainland China
Health and safety is taken seriously at each of our special steel plants and power plants in mainland China. We have established various safety management committees and safety supervisory departments. During the year, we made great efforts to improve health and safety management systems. We established defined responsibilities at various management levels. Operating standards were maintained for compliance by all staff, with the facilitation of safety training and safety awareness programmes. A safety monitoring process was in place for continuous improvement as well as ensuring compliance with applicable laws and regulations in mainland China. Looking ahead, we will be formalising and standardising our health and safety performance indicators as well as our reporting mechanisms for all our production plants in mainland China.
Property business in mainland China
Our property business targets zero industrial incidents. We required all our staff and contractors to fully comply with local regulatory requirements on health and safety. To achieve this goal, key safety performance indicators have been incorporated in the enterprise performance management systems. Our project management teams were specifically engaged to supervise and monitor the performance of contractors and ensured corrective actions were taken when health and safety issues were identified. We continued to improve the health and safety processes of our property business in mainland China by applying PDCA (plan-do-check-act) management methods.