Safety & Health
Safety and workplace health are priorities for Imery
Mining and mineral processing activities demand a strong safety culture if accidents are to be avoided.
Safety and health are key factors in the management of Imerys sites worldwide. The Imerys saftey culture is embraced at the highest level of the Group.
The development of workplace health programs continues to prevent exposure to toxins and mineral dust, control exposure to noise and vibrations, and improve ergonomics. Some divisions have also launched initiatives to strengthen the every day health of their teams.
The Group’s approach is structured along the following lines: clearly defined audit protocols, regular audits, a global training plan, safety training based on a behavior-based model, an accident analysis program and a serious accident prevention plan, as well as events designed to strengthen safety culture on key sites.
In order to reinforce the safety culture at its operations, the Group has launched the Imerys Safety System program. This program has has three pillars : compliance, continuous improvement, and communication/ training. The purpose of this integrated approach is to communicate the Group’s safety culture and ensure compliance with the same safety standards and rules among all of its activities worldwide. It presents the main continuous improvement levers for safety and provides site managers with constantly updated training and communication tools to support the setup of optimization plans. The disciplined rollout of the Imerys Safety System has helped to cut the lost-time accident rate (including subcontractors) significantly over the years.
In addition, the “Take 5” program, a pre-task risk assessment and reduction tool, helps drive safety awareness to all employees.
Imerys has a strong commitment to workplace health because the Group’s employees are potentially exposed to mineral dust, noise in many different ways, repetitive tasks or carrying heavy loads.
Imerys is involved in identifying and managing the health, safety and environmental issues associated with its products throughout the lifecycle of the products. The Group implements the European Community regulation on regulation, evaluation and authorization of chemicals, REACh. Under REACh, “naturally occurring minerals” are exempt from registration, and this exemption significantly reduces the effects of these regulations on Imerys. The Group has, nonetheless, registered several products that do come under this exemption.
The Group formed a dust management working group and developed best practice guidelines to increase familiarity with dust suppression, housekeeping and process optimization. An “industrial hygiene club” was initiated to share best practices on topics such as respirable crystalline silica, ergonomics and hearing protection.