Back to Insights & stories

Speaking SafeNickel with Steve, Welder, Utilities, at Raglan Mine

Author: Glencore Canada | Date: 08/09/2016

Glencore’s first priority is to protect the health and wellbeing of its employees. To achieve this, we must identify and manage health and safety hazards in our workplace. In order to help realize this goal, we launched SafeWork to provide a common global foundation to build our culture of safety worldwide.

At our nickel assets, SafeWork has been adapted as SafeNickel, which supports the operation’s individual safety programs and protocols. 

Speaking SafeNickel connects with Glencore employees asking them about SafeNickel, and safety in general. In this interview, we connect with Steve, Welder, Utilities, at Raglan Mine. 

Glencore Canada: What does SafeNickel mean to you?

Steve: SafeNickel represents sharing and celebrating our safety success stories as we make safety our top priority. More specifically, the fatal hazard protocols offer a number of lessons that enabled us to challenge our processes and help create a safer work environment. SafeNickel acknowledges that risk exists in our workplace, and that it needs to be taken seriously, especially given the potential consequences. At Raglan Mine, my sense is that SafeNickel is taken quite seriously, and the message has been well received; it’s not taken light-heartedly by employees.

Glencore Canada: What changes have resulted from using the fatal hazards protocol (FHP) approach?

Steve: The introduction of the fatal hazard protocols resulted in a review and update of our procedures as they related to each protocol, which raised the level of safety in the workplace. The framework sent a strong message that safety in the workplace needs to be taken seriously and that no one can be removed from this effort. SafeNickel is about minimizing risk and following procedures. And we all have to be moving in the same direction to make it happen.

...at Raglan Mine we adhere to a saying “Ne jamais ou toujours” (In English, this translates literally to “Never or Always”), which captures the spirit of SafeWork or No Work – the idea that we should never accept unsafe work, and always follow established procedures.

Steve, Welder, Utilities at Raglan Mine

Glencore Canada: Do you have an example of how the FHP approach has added value at Raglan Mine?

Steve: A tangible example would be our effort to be proactive and report near-missincidents, known as High Potential Risk Incidents (HPRIs), so that we can implement corrective actions to avoid these types of incidents from taking place in the future. Of course, this involves more time and commitment on our end, but taking on the work is better than suffering the consequences of not doing it!

And, while rules are necessary, at a general level at Raglan Mine we adhere to a saying “Ne jamais ou toujours” (In English, this translates to “Never or Always”), which captures the spirit of SafeWork or No Work – the idea that we should never accept unsafe work, and always follow established procedures.

Last, I would say the SafeNickel approach causes us to reflect and remember that we work for a reason, and we want to enjoy the fruits of our labour with those close to us: our families.

Glencore Canada: What are your current concerns regarding safety and how do you contribute to preventing a safety incident?

Steve: My primary concern as a member of the Health & Safety Committee is working with colleagues to find solutions to health and safety issues. When a colleague finds risk in his work environment, we work together to address it. Of course, that can only happen if my colleagues are confident and comfortable coming to me to raise safety concerns. In order to earn that trust, I make a point of always getting back to them with a well thought-out response or follow-up to issues they raise to me.

At work, the events that positively influence me are when we reap the results of employees who report safety concerns; either reducing or eliminating risk from the workplace. Those events keep me motivated as they are the result of what happens when we work together as a team. Communicating those success stories brings pride to my job too; it truly is a privilege to engage in this type of work.

Steve, Welder, Utilities at Raglan Mine

Glencore Canada: Has your behaviour regarding safety evolved since you joined Raglan Mine? And what events have influenced you positively?

Steve: Absolutely, since joining Raglan Mine I have brought the safety mindset home to my family, trying to get them to adopt safe habits in everything they do. As an example, I ensure my wife and those close to me wear protective gear such as gloves or glasses when taking on tasks or chores around the house.

At work, the events that positively influence me are when we reap the results of employees who report safety concerns; either reducing or eliminating risk from the workplace. Those events keep me motivated as they are the result of what happens when we work together as a team. Communicating those success stories brings pride to my job too; it truly is a privilege to engage in this type of work.