Workplace Health & Safety

Safety is always Alcoa of Australia’s number one priority. We have one of the lowest lost workday injury rates in the country.  Our performance is better than the mining, construction, agriculture, forestry and fishing, and even retail trade industries.

Our primary health and safety goals are zero fatalities, lost work day injuries or recordable injuries. It is also our goal to ensure our all injury rate is zero. These are tough targets, but there can be no others.

In line with the focus on all injuries we continue with programs that provide:

  • Visible safety leadership by managers and supervisors;
  • A safety culture built around an acceptance that everyone is accountable for safety;
  • A strong focus on safe behaviour;
  • Standardised routine work to specify the safest methods for each task;
  • Pre-task risk assessments for non-routine work;
  • Robust investigation procedures to understand causes and contributing factors for every incident and ensure corrective actions are implemented;
  • Active engagement and empowerment of work crews to address their own safety issues;
  • Strong safety leadership and increased management interaction with safety management; 
  • Clearly defined safety expectations for employees at all levels; 
  • Daily visual management systems to maximise visibility and awareness of safety issues and maintain the commitment to improvement; and 
  • Identification of best practice approaches that are already being used which can be deployed throughout different parts of the site.

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One of our biggest challenges, which is not unique to Alcoa, is our aging workforce – this is a challenge faced by many industries and is consistent with an aging Australian population.  As such, most of our recordable injuries relate to sprains and strains.
To combat this, we are actively working to educate employees about protecting their bodies at work and at home, through a program called SafeSpine which forms part of our on-going Ergonomics Program.
SafeSpine is a musculoskeletal health and wellbeing education program specialising in injury prevention on worksites Australia-wide.

With the help of the company Onsite Health Solutions, Alcoa has implemented a program which creates and sustains a workplace culture that supports positive health behaviours throughout the working day and when employees are on a break.

The program encourages employees to stretch every 20 to 30 minutes using personalised stretching designed for the tasks they’re performing.  Workshops are also available to employees which teach them the importance of regular stretching on the prevention of musculoskeletal injury.
Feedback from employees shows that 94% of those who have been through the SafeSpine program have increased their intension to perform prevention exercises at work.
All our programs help to identify and eliminate unsafe work practices, heighten employee awareness and directly involve workers in identifying and addressing unsafe behaviours.  We also implement initiatives to achieve our goal of employees returning home healthier than when they came to work.  Healthy workforce initiatives include medical screenings, health-risk reduction programs, health education and employee assistance.

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