"0" harm attainable at Nickel Rim South.

AuthorUbriaco, Gianni

Xstrata Nickel's Nickel Rim South Project has had no lost time due to injuries since August of 2004 to April of last year.


In recognition of their exemplary commitment to safety in the local mining industry, the safety manager for the project, Dave Stephen, received the Mines and Aggregates Safety and Health Association (MASHA) Leadership Award.

Amazingly, that stellar safety record has continued as they're now up to three calendar years and 2.7 million hours.

"It was quite an honour, not only to be recognized by the MASHA group, but also to be recognized for the people you work for and your co-workers that feel you actually made a difference," Stephen said.

"I just feel like I'm part of a very strong team and I still believe that's the true success to Nickel Rim." So what's been the key to their success? Well, Stephen explains that early on, they decided to change the whole way they looked at safety.

Instead of continuing on with traditional companies that used to come up with fatality frequency numbers predicting they'd have some loss time and medical aid injuries, they focused on the idea that there would be no safety issues.

"What we have to think of now is we won't have any fatalities, we won't have any lost times, and we won't have any medical aids," he said." "If we think that way, then the workers will think the same way with us and we'll do the right things to do whatever is humanly possible to reach that goal."

He feels they've adopted the idea that it must become socially unacceptable to work in an unsafe manner, meaning nobody comes to work expecting to get injured.

To ensure that everybody works safely, as well as cost-effectively to produce a quality product on schedule, Stephen points out they stress compliance, adhering to all of the related standards and procedures, and building on a solid line of communication; all of which must go hand-in-hand to work properly.

On top of that, he indicates that the company also recognizes their employees' successes, instead of just addressing their faults, and that they really promote the idea that if an employee notices a problem, then they have to stop and address it immediately.

Stephen, who brings with him 32 years of experience working for...

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