Health & Safety

Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun

Health and safety performance

In 2014, we exceeded our all injury frequency rate target and received an ‘outstanding’ performance score of 0.58. We recorded seven injuries and two occupational illnesses.

This is a dramatic improvement against our 2013 results and is the second best year in Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun’s ten-year history. This result is largely attributable to a reduction in manual handling and ergonomic injuries. Each year, the five departments on site commit to improving five manual handling and ergonomic hazards. This year, we successfully completed all 25 improvements with a focus on reducing hand hazards. Sixty-eight per cent of the improvements reduced the risk of hands being crushed or caught or in the line of fire.

2014 also saw the development of the Functional Demands Register, which sets out the tasks and physical fitness required for employees to perform certain roles on site. Employees in these roles undertake a functional assessment to ensure that they are fit for the job they need to perform. In addition, the rehabilitation programme for injured employees returning to work has been revised to provide increased support in terms of occupational therapy.

In November 2014, the Hand Safety Committee was established consisting of representatives from a range of mechanical and production teams on site. The committee has been set with the task to consider ways to prevent hand and finger injuries. With injuries of this nature accounting for 57 per cent of the injuries on site, the committee aims to drive awareness and develop solutions that eliminate the root cause of these injuries, address red zones and ensure the ergonomically suitable tools are being used. Reducing hand and finger injuries will place the refinery in good stead to further reduce our AIFR and achieve our goal of zero harm.

Show Table






All injury frequency rate (AIFR)





Lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR)





Lost time injuries (LTIs)





All injuries (AIs)





Occupational illness





Significant potential incident (SPI) closure rate





Significant potential incident (SPI) closure rate – We use significant potential incident reporting and remedial action closure measures to promote identification, investigation, management and sharing of lessons learned from near-miss events with potentially fatal consequences.
*No target set

Injuries to body part
Injuries by mechanism

Visible safety leadership

At Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun, our goal is zero harm to our people and to the environment. We expect all employees and contractors to return home safe and healthy at the end of every shift. To support this goal, it is essential that we have the right processes for developing our leadership capability, and confidence in the application of systems that help builds strong safety engagement across all teams.

In 2014, we continued to focus on the HSE Leadership Roadmap that was introduced in 2013, featuring five key focus areas for leaders to drive the site’s safety culture towards interdependency. The five key focus areas include:

  1. Life Saving Commitments
  2. Housekeeping
  3. Tool box
  4. HSE interactions
  5. Risk management.

In particular, our priorities for 2014 were to improve HSE interactions and to review the Golden Rules which were replaced with our new Life Saving Commitments. Considerable work was completed improving the function of the Safety Interaction Matrix so that all relevant activities on shift were observed and at least one interaction is completed by a team leader with each team member over a month. In addition, weekly coaching and formal assessment of leader safety interaction competency was implemented.

The rollout of the Life Saving Commitments was completed with the Engineering team in 2014 and now forms a focus for Operations rollout in 2015.

Leadership visibility was also a focus for 2014, with trackers now evident on Lean boards, providing a demonstrable record of how much time a senior leader spends in the plant interacting and coaching others.

Health and safety training initiatives

Throughout 2014, a number of health and safety training initiatives were implemented, which played an important role in driving better safety performance across site. These included:

  • Life Saving Commitments and critical controls;
  • safety interaction coaching;
  • dropped object prevention improvement project; and
  • ‘safety pauses’.

HSE Bravo! awards

In 2014, 175 nominations were submitted to the Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun HSE Bravo! awards showcasing health and safety improvements our people identified and implemented across the site. Many of these projects helped us maintain a clean, tidy and safe workplace.

Health and wellbeing

382 employees participated in Rio Tinto Alcan Yarwun’s Refine Health programme in 2014. The programme encompasses an annual health assessment, assistance with personal health and wellness goals, and discounted or free registration in community events such as the Botanic to Bridge.

Case Studies

Dropped object prevention improvement project

Across the refinery, employees are regularly required to perform work at heights. This work presents a number of fundamental risks, including falls and dropped objects. Collectively, these risks represent 32.6 per cent of our risk of fatality onsite and are within the top three causes of fatality for all industry in Australia.
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