ICMM’s vision is for mining and metals to be a respected industry, trusted to operate responsibly and contribute to sustainable development. Our members share an unwavering commitment to improving health and safety performance, towards a goal of zero harm.
To support this commitment, ICMM compiles and analyses the safety data provided annually by members and discloses this information publicly to share progress and accelerate industry-wide learning. Over time, this data has informed leadership discussions about the step change required to eliminate fatalities and supports an evidence-based approach to ICMM’s work on health and safety. No fatality is acceptable.
As a commitment of membership, companies are required to report safety data in their annual sustainability reports in line with GRI reporting requirements. However, often small differences arise between company reports due to government reporting requirements, reporting periods and differences in the criteria through which injuries are classified. As a result, we have developed a common approach for ICMM member companies to share their information. The data in this report uses the definitions provided in ICMM’s Health and Safety Performance Indicators publication. We make every effort to ensure the data submitted aligns with the definitions, however, some minor differences between companies may still exist. Acknowledging this, we include notes and are continuously looking at ways to improve this report.
On 25 January 2019, a tailings storage dam at Vale’s Córrego do Feijão mine in Brumadinho, Brazil, collapsed. As of 20 May 2020, 259 fatalities have been confirmed and 11 people are still missing. In total, 270 lost their lives as a result of this accident. This is a stark reminder that, while the mining and metals industry has come a long way in improving how it operates, there is still much to be done to safeguard lives, improve performance and demonstrate transparency.
Of these 270 people who lost their lives, 250 are considered occupational fatalities, meaning they were part of Vale’s workforce. To date, 10 of these occupational fatalities are still unaccounted for but are being considered as fatalities in this report. The remaining 20 fatalities (of the 270) were members of the local community, of which, one is still unaccounted for. Year on year, this report focuses on occupational fatalities only.
In response to this tragedy, ICMM, together with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have co-convened a global tailings review to establish an international standard for safe management of tailings storage facilities. The review is in its final stage, with the publication of the Global Tailings Standard expected later in 2020.
Regrettably, 287 fatalities occurred across ICMM company members in 2019 (Graph 1). This is an increase from 2018, when there were 50 fatalities. Of the 287 fatalities recorded, 250 occurred as a result of the Brumadinho dam collapse.
This is viewed in relation to a 6.9 per cent increase in the total hours worked by companies and an overall decrease (19 per cent) in the number of incidents that resulted in a fatality.
There were six incidents which resulted in more than one fatality, which is double the number of multiple fatality incidents in 2018. There was a 0.3 per cent increase in the number of total recordable injuries from 7,751 in 2018 to 7,771 in 2019 (Table 1).
The fatality rate (calculated per one million hours worked) shows an increase from 0.022 in 2018 to 0.118 in 2019. The overall injury rate decreased from 3.41 in 2018 to 3.20 in 2019.
Table 1: ICMM safety performance data (2012-2019)
Total recordable fatalities
Total recordable injuries (TRI)
Total hours worked
Graph 3 shows that the highest number of fatalities in 2019 occurred through ‘structural failure’. All of these fatalities were as a result of the Brumadinho tailings dam collapse.
The second highest cause of fatalities was from mobile equipment and transportation. In 2018, for the first time, mobile equipment and transportation surpassed ‘fall of ground’ as the biggest cause of fatalities amongst company members. In 2019, there was also a marked increase in the number of fatalities from fires and explosions with seven occurring. This is over double the number recorded in the previous four years. It also shows a significant reduction in fatalities attributed to mobile equipment and transportation (a 46.7 per cent reduction) and fall of ground related fatalities from a high of 18 in 2015 and 2016, to six in 2019 – a reduction of 66.7 per cent.
The data in Table 2 and Graph 4 shows that the country with the highest number of fatalities was Brazil, accounting for 88 per cent of the total fatalities across ICMM members in 2019, with 250 of the fatalities being caused by the Brumadinho dam collapse. The fatality rate for the Netherlands is high due to the relatively low number of hours worked in the country.
Table 2: ICMM company member fatalities by country in 2019
Total hours worked by country
% of total hours by country
% fatalities by country
|Rest of world||518,749,792||21%||0||0||--|
2019 company benchmark
Following are two graphs that show a more detailed analysis of data for calendar year 2019 per company member. Graph 5 shows the fatality rate for each company for 2019. Graph 6 shows the injury rate for companies in 2019. The total number of fatalities per company is shown in Table 3.
Table 3: All data for ICMM company members in 2019
Total recordable injuries (TRI)
Total hours worked
|Africa Rainbow Minerals||3||0.071||224||5.26||42,550,749|
|Minera San Cristóbal||0||0.000||26||4.96||5,237,913|
Connection to ICMM’s strategy and action plan
This annual safety data motivates company members to continue their drive towards zero harm and provides an indication of their safety performance for stakeholders.
In 2020, ICMM will continue to focus on the sharing and learning between company members by taking a holistic look at trends and lessons drawn from this data as well as continuing to reflect back on the learnings published in the 2019 ICMM publication Fatality Prevention: Eight lessons learned.
This benchmarking data also informs ICMM’s focus areas. Specifically, our action on tailings and the Innovation for Cleaner, Safety Vehicles (ICSV) programme which aims to accelerate the availability and uptake of collision avoidance technology by 2025.
ICMM began collating and publishing company members’ safety data in 2012 with the aim of encouraging information and knowledge-sharing among members, and catalysing learning across the industry.
Additionally, we bring members together to accelerate learning on health and safety issues. We use these conversations, alongside the data in this report to drive our strategic focus for our health and safety programme on the areas where most improvement is needed.
At the time of publication, the world is facing unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. This platform of information sharing and learning has continued to support members through the unprecedented challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic where the health and safety of workers and local communities is paramount.
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.
1. ICMM (2014), Health and Safety: Performance indicators [PDF]. Available at https://www.icmm.com/en-gb/guidance/health-safety/health-and-safety-performance-indicators
2. 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). Fatality rate is shown at 3 decimal places, injury rate shown at 2 decimal places.
3. Data is provided per calendar year. This is opposed to financial year which is often how data is reported by companies in their individual reports. Providing the data by calendar year provides a additional level of comparability between datasets.
4. Data for Alcoa and Sibanye Stillwater – both new members of ICMM – are not included in this report. Data for these companies will be included in the 2020 Report and onwards. The data for former ICMM member Lonmin, which was acquired by Sibanye Stillwater in June 2019, has been included in this report.
5. African Rainbow Minerals boundary for reporting: includes joint venture operations where the company has management or joint management control.
6. Anglo American experienced one loss of life in a FoG incident at a non-managed JV - Modikwa (ARM) in South Africa in 2019. The Group has logged over 365 consecutive days Fall of Ground fatality free for the first time. The data is compliant in terms of injury severity classification, however the scope of reporting excludes those off-site work-related incidents that are not within Anglo American management control and where there is no clear evidence of negligence (for example a lost time injury due to an incident on a public road in company provided transportation) or in cases resulting from criminal activity (eg violent crime, assault, etc).
7. Employee/contractor split not available for Barrick’s Senegal exploration property.
8. Glencore marketing offices are excluded. A few specific exclusions exist in Glencore’s classification guidelines that apply in the determination of whether incidents are workplace related to assist in the decision-making process.
9. Does not provide contractor hours worked as it is not a requirement as per the Japanese “Industrial Safety and Health Act” and therefore not regularly collected. The onus is on the contracting company to provide this data to the regulator. This does not remove the responsibility of the company to manage H&S for contractors such as establishing a safe working environment, provision of safety training etc, and that companies must investigate and keep records if fatality or injury cases happen. In addition for Sumitomo, the data includes contractor hours worked (that is) estimated based on the number of workers as of May 2019.
10. The report contains data for all Lonmin operations – both pre- and post-acquisition by Sibanye Stillwater. Full data for Sibanye Stillwater will be included in the 2020 report.
11. Includes the safety data of Minsur’s Joint Venture Project of Mina Justa (Marcobre: 60 per cent belongs to Minsur and 40 per cent belongs to COPEC), Sillustani and Barbastro.
12. The data represents sites directly controlled by Mitsubishi Materials. These sites are: Akita Smelter, Ikuno business facilities and Naoshima Smelter and Refinery in Japan. Mitsubishi Materials do not operate a mine as a main shareholder.
13. South32 has a few specific exclusions defined in their reporting guidelines. South32 use Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) definitions for Injuries and Disease classification.
14. For 2019, Teck is reporting on the activities that it directly manages. The data does not include JV Partnerships. Teck reports on both a Teck Operated and Teck Total basis. Teck Operated - those activities that Teck manages. Teck Total - Teck Operated plus JV partnerships (on a weighted basis).