Health and Safety management
- The Group’s LTIFR 1.58xExcluding fatalities and data on contractors..
- 5 fatal incidents in 2020.
- 175 cases of occupational illness.
- 42,136 employees underwent Risk Management Project training.
- Introducing the Hunt for Risk mobile app.
- Conducting a safety culture diagnostic audit.
- Implementing a CCTV surveillance system with machine learning.
- Health and Safety.
EVRAZ adopts a proactive and preventative approach to HS issues. This approach is firmly embedded in our corporate culture, as well as in our organisational setup, policies, and procedures. The Group is fully committed to meeting all applicable legislative requirements as well as internal corporate standards on health and safety protection.
The philosophy of the Group in relation to occupational health and safety is no harm. This involves taking all preventative measures to minimise the risk of injuries to people to zero, and applies to both our own employees and contractors.
EVRAZ makes significant efforts to improve the safety culture and to engage employees in health and safety management, and also implements a risk-orientated approach in all operational activities. The Group strives to enhance and maintain a high safety culture level among employees by making them personally responsible for safe behaviour and compliance with safety rules and by engaging employees into risk assessment and hazard identification processes.
The Group assess the effectiveness of HS strategic approaches and initiatives by collating data on key performance indicators (KPIs). In 2020, three KPIs relating to the implementation status of Risk Management projects were added to the strategic goal cards of EVRAZ divisions.
- The main KPI is the percentage of facilities covered by the new Hunt for Risk management tool. Our goal of 100% coverage was not reached (due to the COVID-19 pandemic), however, the Group managed to achieve around 90% coverage of facilities.
- The second most-important KPI is the number of employees that have passed Risk Management training. In total, 42,136 EVRAZ employees were trained in 2020 using both online and face-to-face formats.
- A further major KPI is the number of critical risks identified and described using risk passports.
EVRAZ is committed to further reducing the number of incidents and to eventually reaching a level of zero fatalities and zero injuries.
In 2019 safety initiatives began to be implemented through a companywide improvement Risk Management project, which affects all EVRAZ facilities and covers a wide range of business processes. The project embraces the concept of pre-emption, that is, always being one step ahead. The goal of the project is to further strengthen the safety culture and HS performance through risk awareness and leadership development. As part of the project EVRAZ created several management teams to support and assist in the implementation of new risk management tools. 2020 was a trail period for the project, and in 2021 it is planned that teams will be delegated to standard working groups.
OHS regulations, guidelines, and policies
EVRAZ regularly updates and implements new HS regulations and standards to ensure compliance with both international best practices and domestic legislation.
The main corporate document encompassing health and safety protection is the EVRAZ HSE Policy, which was elaborated in 2011. This key regulation defines HS roles, responsibilities, and the general management approach; declares health and safety to be an overall priority; and sets out respective expectations for employees. Also, it establishes the minimum requirements for avoiding harm to people. The policy covers all EVRAZ employees and contractors.
In 2020 the Group revised the corporate Risk Management Standard, with a view to amending it to take into account new Risk Management project requirements.
At the beginning of the reporting period EVRAZ also revised the internal investigation process. The Group is certain that finger-pointing, undue pressure, and excessive punishment do not help building a strong safety culture or promoting safe bahaviour. Thus, the updated process seeks to determine root causes of incidents through in-depth analyses of risks and nonreliable protective tools and systems, using fault tree analyses and variability maps. In 2021 we plan to adopt this regulation across the Group.
In addition, in 2020 during an investigation into a fatality we amended the corporate Cardinal Safety Rules by adding another norm that impose the prohibition on any human activity under the displaceable loads. A new version has already been issued. EVRAZ is committed to adhering to all domestic HS legislation, internal regulations, and international safety standards. Hence the aforesaid and other rules and regulations constitute the following health and safety document framework, which regulates all EVRAZ operational activities on an equal basis, with technological regulations and job descriptions:
- The HSE Policy.
- The Cardinal Safety Rules.
- The Standard Incident Reporting Rules.
- Internal Investigation Regulations.
- The Risk Management Standard.
- The Standard on HSE Contractor Management.
An OHS management system has been adopted at all the Group’s production facilities. EVRAZ meets the requirements of international occupational health and safety standards: the Group’s facilities are certified under OHSAS18001:2007 and certain facilities under the ISO 45001:2018 standard. EVRAZ is committed to further enhancing its health and safety management system and safeguarding employee safety. In 2019 the Group began undertaking all preparations required to update the OHS management system at the Group’s enterprises and align it with the new international standard ISO 45001:2018. EVRAZ NTMK is currently preparing to be certified under the ISO 45001:2018 standard. All facilities already certified under ISO 45001:2018 need to regularly demonstrate compliance with the stringent requirements of the standard. Hence in 2020 a recertification audit was conducted at the EVRAZ ZSMK facility to confirm compliance with the ISO 45001:2018 international standard. The compliance assessment was performed by the reputable verification body Bureau Veritas Certification Rus. During the audit officials held interviews with staff, managers, and senior executives, and visited the test centre, laboratories, and industrial shops of the facility. Other Group facilities will be certified under ISO 45001 before the OHSAS18001:2007 certificate expires.
HS initiatives and projects in 2020
EVRAZ is continuously developing new safety initiatives, with a view to bringing about further workplace safety improvement. These initiatives comprise short-, medium-, and long-term programmes and projects. In 2020 the Group continued to implement new safety initiatives.
Improvements to emergency prevention and response system
In 2020 the Coal Division launched the Accident Prevention initiative, to establish the level of emergency preparedness of coal mines. In order to obtain a clear picture, the mines were ranked in terms of emergency performance and detailed gap analyses was performed. Based on this rating, areas for further improvement were identified. Blocked emergency exits and a lack of training on the part of dispatchers were determined to be the most common deficiencies at operating coal facilities. As a remedial action, the Group planned to perform stress tests and launch training programme for mine dispatchers, with a view to improving their stress-resistance levels. This measure allows our peers to perform their duties independently and with integrity.
In 2021 the Group plans to continue with this initiative and to eradicate any gaps.
In order to prevent incidents and to achieve the strategic goal of no harm to employees, in 2020 EVRAZ launched a digitalisation project that is based on machine learning models. The main protection method is the automatic positioning of staff, which involves monitoring all employee movements via video and RFID-tags. When a worker enters an industrial shop the system checks the status of private protection equipment (PPE) and flags violations: absence of goggles, gloves, overalls, etc., or whether the worker is located in a dangerous zone with, for example, moving or rotating tools and gears, and in each case makes a decision. The video system, which also uses artificial intelligence, analyses videos from surveillance cameras in real time. All violations are identified with an accuracy of 95% and are registered automatically. If the system finds that in several similar cases the same decision is made, it automatically learns this type of violation without any action from the operator. Notifications on violations are sent to the HSE department of the respective facility.
The pilot project was launched by Raspadskaya Coal Company (RUK) at the Montazhnik Raspadskoy coal mine and is currently being rolled out at other facilities and Group divisions. The system has also been deployed at the enrichment facility at Raspadskaya, at the Alardinskaya and Erunakovskaya-VIII mines, and in PJSC Raspadskaya, ATP YUKU, and EVRAZ ZSMK.
EVRAZ implements a similar system for corporate transport, analysing whether drivers and passengers are wearing seat belts, whether a driver is being distracted by a phone conversation, etc. Another project to be launched is the implementation of the video monitoring system in drifting faces.
Modern technologies and the latest advances in science and technology help EVRAZ monitor compliance with safety rules at the facilities.
The Group seeks to promote safe behaviour among its contractors and has established a wide range of methods to ensure that operations at facilities are carried out in full compliance with domestic legislation and corporate rules and regulations.
In 2020 the Group introduced an initiative to create ratings for contractors with respect to HSE issues. This measure is designed to encourage contractors to improve and bolster their efforts to provide safe working conditions by engaging managers and performing ongoing supervisions of the safety climate at industrial sites. This rating also plays a role in contract conditions. If any contractor company is rated good and can demonstrate a positive track record vis-à-vis HS, it can obtain the reduction of payment deferment date. On the other hand, an unsatisfactory track record could lead directly to a contract being rejected.
The rating is based on the results of industrial site audits and calculations of average marks. This tool helps HS specialists and staff involved in HS process to identify gaps and areas in need of improvement.
It did not take long to see results. The contractor applies the same evaluating tool to access its contractor company, making them responsible for HS issues and sharing with them duties and competencies. Only companies having passed the test are eligible to work. As a result, no fatalities were recorded among EVRAZ contractors in 2020.
Developing the safety culture
The Group is committed to attaining in the long term a robust safety culture, transitioning from the full supervision of employees to their personal engagement in HS issues. The Group puts significant efforts into building a stringent safety culture and reliable and safe practices are implemented at each facility of the Group. EVRAZ understands that no operational activity can be successful without an appropriate safety culture level in place. The continued improvement of the safety culture involves thousands of EVRAZ employees: all staff, including managers and executives, are trained to improve safety performance and enhance their risk awareness.
In 2020 EVRAZ made further efforts to improve the safety culture programme, with a range of initiatives rolled out to boost employee engagement and introduce new safety tools and methods.
Safety culture diagnostic audit
In the first quarter of 2020 it was decided to conduct a diagnostic audit to evaluate the level of the corporate safety culture. As a result, a self-diagnostic methodology was developed, which covers all the specific features of the facilities. This useful tool enables the safety culture level to be assessed and monitored in terms of its dynamics.
The Group’s main strategic goal for 2021 is to achieve across the Group the third (Independent) level of safety culture according to Bradley scale. The self-diagnostic methodology indicated that the current level of compliance was 45%, which corresponds to the advanced second level. EVRAZ plans to achieve a 60% compliance level by the end of 2021.
EVRAZ is happy to report that several facilities have already gone through the third (Independent) level of safety culture and are continuing with safety culture improvements. The Group plans to bring other facilities up to the third level by means of a transparent and simple system that will help maintain not only a reactive level but also enhance the overall safety culture level of the Group. EVRAZ has developed a promising plan to achieve this important corporate strategic goal.
Three main areas of safety culture development were identified in 2020:
- A safety motivation system.
- Determining employee behaviour that corresponds to a proactive level of safety.
- Resolving the Safety vs Production dilemma.
According to these areas EVRAZ conducted a range of pilot projects and developed a respective programme, which will be implemented in 2021.
Within the areas to be developed three phrases were encouraged to be used: “I’m acting”, “I’m communicating”, and “I’m proposing”, to try to impress upon staff that a good safety culture means more than just following the rules. This philosophy is embedded in the safety behaviour model and the Group expects all staff to embrace it, regardless of their status or position.
Behaviour safety conversations and safe work procedures
Measures aimed at enhancing the safety culture and further engaging employees in OHS management processes are key important components of the Risk Management project. During the reporting period EVRAZ continued with the practice of holding safety conversations, however, within the Risk Management project this is gradually being replaced by new risk management tools, e.g. brief chats and briefings before work commences in order to improve risk awareness among workers and line managers. It is ineffective to discuss industrial risks somewhere out of the working areas. Hence it is important that potential risks are assessed and analysed by staff in the places where they work. EVRAZ is committed to developing and implementing a risk-orientated approach at all operating facilities.
In 2020 the safety culture was boosted by a new effective procedure that contributes to resolving the Safety vs Production dilemma. The Group launched a series of short safety briefings, Safety Moment, at which all related cases are carefully analysed. This area is closely connected with the Work Rejection regulation, which allows each employee to refuse work that poses a risk of injury. An analysis of data showed that the regulation is rarely applied at management level and that only a small percentage of workers apply it independently. Prompts and help were needed for the majority of the staff to elicit whether a work suspension was required. By address ing such issues at meetings the Group establishes the expectations of appropriate safety behaviour among the workforce.
For EVRAZ it is vital that all employees view the changes as a positive and proactive step towards safeguarding their health and safety. A special feedback algorithm has been developed to enhance interactions between workers and line-managers. Assurances are made by senior executives that no penalties will be imposed if an employee refuses to perform a work task, and this is also regularly made known via our corporate television channel and at meetings and using posters.
HS motivation system
In 2020 EVRAZ also reviewed the current motivation system and redesigned it. The Group developed a range of criteria regarding employee behaviour that correspond to the third level of the Bradley scale and implemented these into the motivation system. The criteria include cases of work rejection, risk reports, and elaborating local documentation that will assist in performing operational activities in an easier and safer way.
The Group expects these criteria to be implemented in future corporate projects, including the HR system, which will enable individual HS performance to be assessed along with remuneration and bonus payments.
Unfortunately, a system of penalties is still operating, however, it has also been restructured and organised. The most gross violations relating to critical risks were identified. There are strict sanctions in place for violations that could lead to grave injury or fatalities.
The structure of safety development funds has also evolved during the reporting period. In 2020 the Group significantly increased the sum of motivational fund. The benefits are payed for the best employees taking into account their commitment to HS issues including cases of work suspension, risk reports and other HS performance of individual.
From 2021 the HS motivational system will begin to operate at full strength.
Occupational health and safety trainings
Professional education and training are key tools for informing workers and managers about workplace hazards and controls so that they can work more safely and be more productive. EVRAZ provides a range of training courses in all business divisions. All EVRAZ employees undergo all respective mandatory trainings, which are updated regularly to take into account amendments to domestic legislation. The appropriate and safe handling of tools and installations, primary knowledge of occupational and fire safety, and basic first aid skills all play key roles in safeguarding the health and safety of employees.
In addition to legally required trainings, EVRAZ offers regular professional development programmes, including voluntary initiatives to set up training centres and security systems, and a safe driving course.
In 2020 EVRAZ continued to conduct trainings within the Risk Management project. More than 42,000 employees passed our training during the reporting year. Despite the pandemic, EVRAZ was able to fulfil the training plans by changing the format to online, webinar-based sessions. We are aware that in such a case it is rather complicated to oversee how well employees prepare, however, the focus of the training was geared towards obtaining practical skills that will help the worker perform their work safely.
In addition, EVRAZ launched a training programme to further improve the engagement level of our managers and people. The programme for managers and senior executives lasts four days, and one day for other grades of employees. The course is focused on the role of leadership in HS and helps management foster appropriate behaviour among the workforce.
Occupational injury prevention
Nothing matters more than every single employee returning home safely every day after work. Thus, EVRAZ prioritises keeping its employees and contractors safe and alert to potential hazards in their work. The Group performs ongoing stringent monitoring of HSE performance, including the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) and the number of fatalities, with an eye to elaborating and introducing all required mitigation measures and initiatives.
The Group has a wide range of measurement indicators related to assessing safety performance, including the LTIFR. Target LTIFRs are cascaded down throughout the Group. In 2020 the LTIFR at EVRAZ stood at 1.58, which was 22.5% lower than the 2019 figure of 2.04. The Group met its target level of 1.61.
A significant improvement in the LTIFR was recorded at the Coal Division and ENA, which in 2020 recorded 21.3% and 29.9% reductions compared to 2019 figures. EVRAZ intends to keep improving LTIFR rates in the future by learning from past incidents and implementing advanced technologies.
In 2020 the most serious injuries recorded occurred as a result of moving and rotating gears and equipment or debris, rock burst, and transport accidents. For each risk category EVRAZ has developed and implemented a range of HSE initiatives.
Despite all the efforts made, EVRAZ experienced five fatalities in 2020. The Group is deeply saddened by these losses. Any fatal case is unacceptable, and the Group will continue to do its utmost to achieve its strategic goal of zero fatalities. However, we are pleased to report that during the reporting period no cases of death were recorded among EVRAZ contractors.
The first fatality related to a fall of a load at a coal mine. The investigation established that no risk management tools had been implemented at the facility. Also, it was determined that workers were not sufficiently aware of this type of risk factor. As a result, the Cardinal Safety Rules were amended with a new norm concerning the risks posed by an employee being situated under the displaceable load.
Two fatalities recorded at a coal mine were due to a microearthquake (MEQ), when a coal face layer suddenly collapsed. There was no way to predict this event using the modern means available. During the investigation it was established that ore mines can handle risks related to MEQ, but that there are difficulties predicting them at coal mines. EVRAZ performs benchmarks of best practices adopted by coal facilities to help avoid similar accidents from occurring in the future.
The fourth fatality involved an employee being fatally injured by rotating gears. As a result, EVRAZ plans to launch a new programme in 2021 to avoid these frequent injuries. A comprehensive inventory of dangerous zones was conducted, and each division pursues an initiative to establish more reliable means of protection via equipment shutdowns when an employee enters a dangerous zone.
The fifth fatality involved an employee losing his life due to a rock fall.
The Group invests significant efforts into enhancing working conditions and improving the corporate healthcare system. All facilities are equipped with medical posts to perform pre- and post-shift checks-ups, give first aid, conduct alcohol tests, and provide other medical assistance to employees. The Group covers expenses for surgeries and other medical procedures if they are needed. All employees must undergo annual medical examinations and health checks before commencing employment.
In addition to legislative requirements, EVRAZ organises voluntary health protection campaigns. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic the issue of employee health has taken on greater significance. Together with our partner insurance company we launched a project to improve how to identify occupational diseases. The start of 2020 was marked by a number of natural deaths due to cardiovascular diseases, which made us search for ways to identify groups at risk of contracting this type of disease. EVRAZ received an offer from the partner insurance company to provide a mentoring programme which includes advanced medical check-ups, collecting medical data that can be recorded on special medical cards for employees. By analysing respective results, it will be possible to ascertain specific risk groups and prevent the onset of diseases.
This initiative has been launched in the Ural Division, and the Group plans to involve other business segments in the new project.
Registered occupational diseases
In accordance with domestic labour legislation the Group insures all EVRAZ employees against work-related accidents and occupational diseases. All treatments of occupational diseases are covered by this insurance.
175 cases of occupational diseases were documented during 2020 at EVRAZ facilities, which was 26,2% lower than in 2019, which saw 237 cases. The structure of registered occupational diseases suffered no changes during the reporting period. The most common reported illness remain musculoskeletal (90 cases) and hearing disorders (67) and respiratory diseases, due to high dust concentrations in the air at worksites.
Safety monitoring system
Ongoing safety performance monitoring is an indispensable tool in the prevention of occupational injuries and diseases. Standard incident reporting regulations, which form part of the Incident Management Standard, have been implemented in EVRAZ. In the event of an incident occurring a Flash report outlining all respective details and circumstances and response actions taken is issued within 24 hours. The report is distributed immediately to all affected managers. In addition, the local HSE department conducts investigations and disseminates key findings, so that every employee can learn from incidents.
HSE functions also monitor subsidiaries using monthly, quarterly, and annual HSE performance reports, based on data collected through the corporate HSE reporting system.
The Group requires its employees to not conceal or misrepresent the circumstances of HS violations. All EVRAZ employees are involved in the monitoring process by reporting information on incidents and safety violation cases, using the EVRAZ Hotline.
Transportation vehicles are used extensively in EVRAZ operations, both in production processes and in transporting employees to Group facilities. EVRAZ always pays significant attention to improving transport safety and has implemented various initiatives across all enterprises.
In 2020 the corporate fleet of EVRAZ RUK was replenished with three crew vehicles for employee transportation. New buses were customised according to the amended safety regulation of EVRAZ RUK. The new features included reinforced frames, warning strobes, and all seats being equipped with three-point seatbelts in order to ensure the safety of passengers in case of an accident. Also, vehicles now have onboard front and rear dashcams which stream online pictures to line managers at facilities.
We are pleased to report that EVRAZ RUK has declared 2020 to be the year of transport safety. The Group plans to fully refresh its fleet of corporate transport to comply the local safety regulations.
New vehicles were also purchased by EVRAZ KGOK to improve the safety of staff during their movements in quarries. US$415 thousand was earmarked for this measure.
External OHS activities
The role played by contractors in EVRAZ’s daily operations cannot be overstated. The Group is committed to promoting safety behaviour among its contractors and strives to share the lessons learned with them; therefore, their skills and HS performance are vital in order for work to be performed safely.
EVRAZ involves all contractors in the EVRAZ OHS management system, and the Groups plans to boost engagement levels in this regard. Interactions with the contractors are regulated by the Standard on HSE Contractor Management, which consists of a four-stage procedure. Contractors cannot be exposed to hazardous work until their practical skills and knowledge have been assessed.
EVRAZ and its contractors work together to guarantee occupational safety. In this regard the Group has begun offering contractors occupational health and safety corporate trainings. For the Group it is very important that its contractors have a stake in raising their risk awareness and that they strive to enhance the OHS management system through implementing risk management tools.
In the first quarter of 2021 EVRAZ began involving contractors in the new mobile app Hunt for Risk, which will help identify more risks and make production sites safer and more comfortable.
Emergency prevention and response
All EVRAZ facilities are prepared to respond to a wide range of emergency events, caused by natural disasters or industrial accidents. Evaluations of emergency related risks are conducted on a regular basis, in accordance with the EVRAZ Industrial Safety Management System Provision. This is a proactive system that incorporates a set of procedures and documents that are used to prevent an emergency. EVRAZ personnel routinely undergo training and exercises on their roles and duties in emergency response situations, to be sufficiently prepared if incidents occur. According to the respective risk evaluation each EVRAZ facility is designated a hazard class based on the types of hazardous substances used, previous cases of emergencies, and the emergency-prevention system.
In line with domestic legislation, the Action Plans for the Localisation and Liquidation of the Accidents Consequences have been developed at all EVRAZ facilities.
All facilities of the Group are equipped with emergency warning systems. In the event of an emergency, the system is activated to inform employees, local communities, and authorities, as well as special rescue services.
Goals for 2021 and the midterm
Safety culture development
EVRAZ plans to continue to implement key initiatives targeted at improving the safety culture. Our strategic goal is to reach in 2021 at least 60% compliance under the Bradley scale of safety culture.
In the next reporting period, another key HS objective for EVRAZ will be to perform HSE transformation initiatives that include in-depth adaptations of the HSE Management System for risk management processes and HSE teams. Safety management processes will be reviewed with a view to reducing red tape and introducing automation options.
Formalisation of competencies
The Group stresses the importance of building necessary competencies among employees, and not to overly rely on qualifications; this approach better meets the requirements of risk prevention.
Finalising risk management projects
EVRAZ plans to finalise the Risk Management project implementation by the middle of 2021, and an assessment of the project’s efficacy will also be performed.