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Benchmarking Safety Data: Progress of ICMM Company Members (2015)

19 July 2016

ICMM is committed to strengthening the health and safety performance of its members and reducing operational fatalities to zero. As part of this commitment we produce an annual safety data report of our membership.

Recognising that companies report differently and adhere to different calendar years, we have developed a common approach to reporting as defined in ICMM’s Health and Safety Performance Indicators.[1]

ICMM regrets to report that 2015 saw an overall increase in the number of fatalities and injuries of member companies compared to 2014. As there are often changes to ICMM membership between years, it is difficult to make like-for-like comparisons based on the total numbers. For example, the 2015 data includes ICMM’s newest members Polyus Gold and South32. A better tool for comparison is the fatality frequency rate, which provides the number of fatalities per million hours worked. The fatality frequency rate shows an increase from 0.024 in 2014 to 0.027 in 2015, after a decrease between 2013 and 2014. Similarly, there was an increase in the total recordable injury rate from 4.50 in 2014 to 4.74 in 2015, following a decrease between 2013 and 2014.

While it’s difficult to attribute the increase in fatality and injury frequency rates to a single cause, it is possible to identify the most common type of incidents and where member companies are focussing prevention effort.

Graph 3 shows that 70% of fatalities could be attributed to one of the following:

  • Fall of ground in underground mines
  • Machinery
  • Transportation.

Graph 4 shows that 60% of the fatalities occurred in Africa, 13.3% in South America, 8.3% in North America, 6.7% in both Asia and Oceania and 5% in Europe.

This is the first time that ICMM has collected information on incidents by type and location, and this data will play an important role in determining focus areas for our health and safety work going forward.  Member companies are already responding to this information with those with underground operations in South Africa – where there is typically a greater proportion of employees working within a mine – focusing efforts on learning from these incidents to address the issue.

Table 1: ICMM Safety Performance Data (2012–2015)[2]

Year Total recordable fatalities Fatality frequancy rate[3] Total recordable injuries (TRI) TRI frequancy rate[3] Total hours worked
2015 60 0.027 10,586 4.74 2,231,437,832
2014 56 0.024 10,455 4.50 2,324,525,784
2013 [4] 91 0.035 11,636 4.52 2,571,500,557
2012 90 0.033 13,895 5.07 2,738,579,590

Samarco Tailings Dam Failure ­

ICMM is deeply saddened by the tragic loss of life that occurred following the Samarco tailings dam failure on 5 November 2015. The incident resulted in 19 deaths including five people from the local community and 14 people who were working on the dam at the time of the failure.

ICMM’s response to this incident has been to initiate, with the full support of our membership, a review of standards and critical control management strategies related to tailings storage facilities.

It is important to note that Samarco (an equal interest joint venture between BHP Billiton and Vale) is not a direct member of ICMM and its statistics are therefore not captured in this report. This is not to diminish the tragic deaths that occurred but to avoid double counting by reporting in line with our health and safety performance indicators.

Working Towards Zero Fatalities

ICMM believes that the mining and metals industry must continue its pursuit to eliminate all fatalities and catastrophic events.

One of the key strategies to reach this goal is ICMM’s work on critical control management.  

Critical control management is founded on the principle that not all controls are crucial. Companies should therefore focus on systematically identifying, assessing, implementing and evaluating those controls that are essential to the prevention of fatal or catastrophic events.

While critical control management is well documented in many high hazard industries, ICMM produced the first consolidated framework for the mining and metals industry in 2015. The guide titled Critical Control Management Guide: Good Practice Guide seeks to provide a summary of the process, touching on the history of critical control management, its benefits, the challenges and how to prepare and plan to implement the approach. It is accompanied by additional Critical Control Management: Implementation Guide developed in December 2015.

Approximately 80% of our members signalled that they had had either started to implement critical control management, or had intentions of starting in the coming months (October 2015).

2015 Safety Data per Company

Below are two graphs that show a more detailed analysis of data for calendar year 2015 per member company.  The total number of fatalities per company can be seen in table 2 at the end of this report.

Table 2: All Data for ICMM Company Members in 2015

Year Total recordable fatalities Fatality frequancy rate[3] Total recordable injuries (TRI) TRI frequancy rate[3] Total hours worked
African Rainbow Minerals 2 0.035 393 6.93 56,737,226
Anglo American[5] 6 0.018 1,590 4.66 341,371,373
AngloGold Ashanti 11 0.088 898 7.18 124,998,859
Antofagasta Minerals 1 0.023 295 6.92 42,651,328
Areva[6] 1 0.055 84 4.60 18,268,932
Barrick 3 0.042 165 2.31 71,404,884
BHP Billiton[7] 4 0.020 8 4.34 197,542,651
Codelco 0 0.000 788 5.71 138,063,310
Freeport-McMoRan 3 0.015 562 2.80 200,471,101
Glencore[8] 10 0.025 2,005 5.06 396,132,544
Goldcorp 1 0.022 282 6.28 44,935,676
Gold Fields 3 0.059 174 3.40 51,198,910
Hydro 1 0.025 121 3.01 40,156,010
JX Nippon 0 0.000 37 10.18 3,634,484
Lonmin 3 0.035 1,178 13.59 86,659,678
MMG[9] 1 0.029 73 2.11 34,664,018
Mitsubishi Materials 0 0.000 11 8.85 1,242,283
Newmont 2 0.027 116 1.58 73,394,219
Polyus Gold 2 0.048 76 1.82 41,682,652
Rio Tinto 4 0.023 384 2.19 175,120,023
South32[10] 2 0.059 256 7.55 31,559,497
Sumitomo[11] 0 0.000 15 0.74 20,290,660
Teck[12] 0 0.000 221 6.19 35,710,553
Total 60 0.027 10,586 4.74 2,231,437,832


1. While all effort is made to ensure the data complies with the definitions, it should be noted that some minor differences still exist between companies. Acknowledging this, we are continuously looking at ways to improve the consistency of data.

2. Updated TRI and TRI frequency rate have been provided for 2012 – 2014 compared to previously published reports by ICMM.

3. Rates are per 1 million hours worked (calculated by dividing the total number of fatalities or TRIs by the hours worked at the companies, and then multiplied by 1 million). Rate is shown at 3 decimal places.

4. In 2013 at the Freeport-McMoRan Grasberg operation in Indonesia, there were 28 deaths and 10 people were injured in a tragic incident at an underground training facility, an event unprecedented in over 40 years.

5. Anglo American’s TRCFR includes fatal injuries, lost-time injuries and medical treatment cases. However, in some parts of the business, first aid cases are also included. Anglo American’s historical TRCFR may therefore not be directly comparable to peers (being higher), although this discrepancy will be remedied from 2016 onwards.

6. AREVA have differences regarding the classifications of the No Loss Time Injuries (NLTI - medical aids and first aids). AREVA group classifies its events regarding the location of the treatment. If the injured person has to go for treatment outside the sites - and come back to work the day after, it is considered as medical aid. If the treatment occurs at the first aid station on site (no matter what the treatment is) and the injured person goes back to work immediately after, it is considered as a first aid. AREVA data relates to the Mining Business Line only.

7. The data set includes data from BHP Billiton’s Petroleum Business. The above data set includes data from the demerged South32 assets for 01 January 2015 to 08 May 2015 (prior to the demerger). BHP Billiton data fully complies with the ICMM recording boundaries. BHP Billiton use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) definitions for Injuries and Disease classification which differs slightly from ICMM definitions.

8. This data has been provided prior to the finalisation of numbers during our assurance process, as such our numbers may vary slightly. The LTI case rate is based on not being able to work from next rostered shift. LTI case rate does not include Restricted Work Injuries and Fatalities. TRI case rate is fully aligned with ICMM criteria. A few specific exclusions apply in the determination of whether incidents are workplace related to assist in the decision making process.

9. Statistics provided above include MMG Operational Sites (Australia, DRC, Peru and Laos), Exploration and Group Office. For safety data, one of MMG's projects (Las Bambas Project) is excluded. This aligns with MMG's internal reporting structure for recording Safety statistics.

10. Data from only part of the 2015 calendar year was reported. Data reported for the period 09 May - 31 December. Data from 01 January - 08 May has been reported in the BHP Billiton submission. South32 data fully complies with the ICMM recording boundaries. South32 use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) definitions for Injuries and Disease classification which differs slightly from ICMM definitions.

11. Sumitomo’s information does not include data from contractors.

12. The total number of TRIs for Teck includes TRIs attributed to operations where Teck is a partner but not the managing partner. These TRIs are included pro-rata based on the percentage of Teck ownership.