Safety Climate Tool - Improving Safety Culture at a Global Mining Company
Vale is a global mining company and a leading producer of iron
ore, potash, nickel, and other base metals. The Clydach Refinery is
in Swansea, Wales and employs around 300 people, and produces
high purity nickel products.
As a responsible employer and as an organisation aiming to
become the largest and best mining company in the world, Vale
recognised the impact that improving safety culture could have on
their business. At the core of a series of initiatives to encourage
employees to communicate more frequently and identify issues before
they became problems, was the recognition that safety must be
The assessment of the prevailing safety culture was therefore
seen as the first step in the development of a sustainable
programme of continuous improvement, so Vale chose the Health and
Safety Laboratory's Safety Climate Tool (SCT) to do this.
What We Did
- We worked with Vale to tailor the SCT question set to ensure
that the survey was specific to their circumstances.
- We provided impartial analysis of the survey's results in order
to identify the key issues.
- Our Human Factors specialists used the key issues from the
survey as the basis for a series of staff focus groups and
- We used the information from the focus groups and interviews to
make recommendations to the Senior Management Team for a strategy
of continuous improvement.
2010 became a year to remember for Vale's Clydach refinery.
They established a new record low for work related injuries -
down 20% over the previous year. However, the most impressive thing
about this statistic was that for the first time in the refinery's
108-year history, none of the injuries represented a lost-time
injury. Not a single worker from the 200 full-time employees or 100
contractors who work at the refinery missed work due to a
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"This is an outstanding achievement for us and demonstrates our commitment to the safety of our employees. Measuring the perceptions of our staff to safety was key to understanding where improvements could be made. We won’t be resting on our laurels though, as the challenge now is to sustain this performance and move closer towards our goal of zero harm. The Safety Climate Tool will be instrumental to us achieving this."
Chris Thomson, Environment, Health and Safety Manager, Vale
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