Why these issues
are important to us
Absence of fatalities, incidents, accidents and occupational diseases is one of the key goals of an efficient business. Each employee expects to work in a healthy environment. At the same time, the Company expects its employees to follow the safety rules. Jointly supporting these principles, we will be able to bring our business to a higher level of performance and a sustainable future.
Safety is a key element of our Code of Corporate Culture, Safety is an unconditional value that must be an integral part of any action and decision.
We understand that careless, thoughtless and irresponsible actions may have tragic implications not only for ourselves and our colleagues, but also for our families and friends.
No achievement or economic benefit can justify loss of life or damage to a person’s health.
- Absence of fatalities.
- Absence of industrial accidents.
- Prevention and reduction of occupational diseases amongst employees.
Policy and strategy
In 2012, Uralkali adopted a Health, Safety and Environment Policy, which demonstrated the Company’s belief that health, safety and the environment are key priorities that should be taken into account in all its actions and decisions, regardless of the line of work to which they relate.
Our 2013 results confirm the effectiveness of the Cardinal Rules that were introduced by Uralkali in May 2012, and extended in January 2013 to include all divisions of the Group adjusted for the specific aspects of their activities. The Uralkali Group registered no fatal accidents, and the number of accidents decreased significantly compared with the previous year, with a total of 21. All accidents were investigated and in light of our findings, we adopted the necessary measures to prevent similar incidents. The Group’s lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) declined by 29% compared to 2012.
The Company continues to promote the Cardinal Rules. We require all employees to adhere to the Cardinal Rules and proven violation is punishable in accordance with the Labour Code of the Russian Federation. We are confident that over time these measures will lead to increased awareness and responsibility among employees and, consequently, to the complete elimination of industrial accidents. For example,
The Company continues to develop the Cardinal Rules for safety and the procedures for their use. All employees of the Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates are annually examined on their knowledge of the Rules. To learn more about the Cardinal Rules, we have created a video that clearly explains each of the rules.
Organisational and technical measures
- In 2013, workplaces were certified in accordance with legal requirements on assessing conditions in workplaces. Harmful and hazardous working environments were identified, and the risks mitigated;
- The Group began recording all first aid incidents, which do not lead to loss of working capacity;
- 50 alcohol breath-test devices were purchased and installed at the entrances to facilities;
- In order to prevent accidents involving large mining equipment, Uralkali is testing an alarm system for warning vehicle operators of individuals in potentially dangerous proximity;
- LED panels were developed and installed at the Company’s production sites to record performance, including the accident rate;
- The Company established a hotline for reporting possible violations of health and safety rules.
In 2013, there were no accidents or incidents that had to be recorded in accordance with industrial safety requirements.
As a result of the changes in legislation, the following developments took place:
- Identification and re-registration of hazardous production facilities by hazard class;
- Renewal of licence to carry out activities related to handling of industrial explosives;
- Renewal of permits to operate waterworks of the Upper Zyryansky reservoir, and the sludge depositories of mine groups in Berezniki and Solikamsk;
- Gas transport system safety declarations were developed.
A system of automated control was introduced for examining the industrial safety of lifting mechanisms operated at Uralkali’s production facilities.
In line with timing requirements, the industrial safety of the equipment used at Uralkali’s hazardous production facilities was examined, which was followed by the Company obtaining permits to use the equipment.
Fire safety, civil defense and emergencies
All facilities were declared to have met fire safety standards.
The period of safe operation was extended for 51 automatic firefighting systems in mines, i.e. 100% of the planned number.
The certification of the remaining 17 hazardous facilities was completed. Passports developed for hazardous facilities were approved by the Chief Directorate of Russia’s Ministry for Emergencies for the Perm region.
The Company carried out work to prepare units for prevention and mitigating the consequences of an oil spill at the Company’s facilities that handle oil products.
Comprehensive exercises were conducted to prepare employees for natural and man-made emergency situations and civil defence signals.
An inventory of civil defence structures was carried out and measures to improve their protective properties were adopted.
All existing 1,500 fire alarm and fireextinguishing systems and installations for the underground and surface complexes, as well as warning systems for civil defence and emergencies, were serviced.
We believe that nothing is more important than people’s health, and the Company takes care of its employees by preventing and reducing their exposure to health hazards in the workplace.
An effective system of regular health checks helps the Company to detect occupational diseases at an early stage, to identify the initial effects of exposure to health hazards, and to take measures to protect the health of employees and assist in their recovery.
In 2013, the Group recorded four cases of occupational diseases, three of which occurred within Uralkali, which is 4.5 times lower than in 2012. Two recorded cases of occupational diseases in Uralkali were associated with occupational noise exposure; one case was associated with exposure to whole-body vibration. To reduce the incidence of these types of conditions, we have implemented the following measures:
- Mandatory hearing tests for all individuals working at sites with a high background noise level;
- Additional health checks for all employees working at sites with a high background noise or vibration level;
- Mandatory transfer to jobs that do not involve exposure to health hazards for employees found to be susceptible to occupational diseases;
- Use of modern and innovative personal protective equipment to mitigate the impact of negative workplace factors. For this purpose, Uralkali purchased sets of active noise-cancelling headphones.
As part of our health improvement programmes, employees undergo regular mandatory health checks and examinations, and are also given vaccinations.
Training and instructions
Making employees aware of the latest health and safety requirements and developing a culture of compliance play a key role in ensuring workplace safety. Before starting work at Uralkali’s production facilities, the Company’s employees receive workplace training. Ensuring workplace safety and monitoring employee compliance with safety requirements are part of the responsibilities of all foremen and supervisors.
In 2013, employees were trained and certified as follows:
- In the field of industrial safety — over 2,680 employees
- In the field of occupational safety — over 660 employees
- In the field of civil defence and emergency prevention — over 3,000 employees
- In the field of fire safety — over 1,950 employees
Health and safety requirements for contractors
When it comes to health and safety, Uralkali makes no distinction between its own employees and contractor personnel.
The Company checks all potential contractors to ensure that they have all necessary health and safety permits and that their employees receive health and safety training and certification. Agreements with contractors expressly specify that their employees must comply with their safety requirements and Uralkali’s safety standards. Contractor personnel must receive health and safety induction training and Uralkali’s officers carry out regular health and safety inspections and checks during contract periods.
Uralkali’s contractors also have to comply with the Cardinal Rules: if they break any of them, they are taken off their assignment and banned from Uralkali’s facilities for a year. In 2013, 91 people were taken off assignments due to breaching the Cardinal Rules.