As a result of four fatalities at Ambatovy in 2015, management introduced a strategic focus on fatality prevention and life safety, and commissioned independent external assessments of the safety culture at each operating site.
The assessments provided valuable insights into factors that contribute to the safety culture at each site: personal commitments to safety, mutual respect among employees, organizational pride and mythology, accountability for safety at the line-management level, constructive leadership interactions in the field, and control of critical risks. A key learning was that leaders are critical to establishing the culture and behavioural expectations for safety.
In 2019, all sites focused on improving their visible and felt leadership programs to move towards an interdependent safety culture at each location. Each site developed an action plan that included the setting of ambitious targets for leaders to be present in work areas more often, to role-model safety behaviours, and to improve the quality of interactions through peer reviews and tiered interactions. The action plans also focused on addressing significant potential incidents, strengthening life safety rules, and improving use of hazard assessment tools.
Safety culture improvements were noticeably observed at the Moa Nickel Site in 2019. Leadership interactions and communications assisted in reinforcing the need for performing safe work and adhering to the life safety rules. The advances in safety culture were demonstrated during a crisis preparedness exercise held with the government in June, with all levels exceeding expectations.