Sustainability Case Studies

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2012 — Health and Safety

Ergonomic initiatives at the Bécancour Smelter


Year after year, we look for ways to reduce and control the ergonomic risks in our work environment. With this in mind, we have implemented the following improvements:
 
Remote control
Operations personnel regularly had to get down from mobile equipment to activate a control that allowed them to complete certain tasks, and then climb back in. The installation of a remote control has eliminated this issue, thereby reducing ergonomic risks and the potential risk of falls while exiting or re-entering vehicles.
   

The remote control installed on a piece of mobile equipment.
 
  
Clean-up of anode butts
During the process of cleaning anode butts, large pieces of crushed bath sometimes become detached and fall onto the conveyor belt. Workers used to have to manually remove the protective hood of the conveyor to fix the issue. This operation is now easier since the hood has been placed on rollers, allowing workers to slide it out of the way rather than remove it to clear the work area.
 
In addition, a belt reversal system was installed to make it less strenuous to reposition a piece of bath so it can be hauled away by the conveyor. The operator can thus bring the bath back closer to him and reposition it more efficiently on the belt. This helps reduce the ergonomic risks associated with the use of muscular force in an uncomfortable position.
   

The conveyor lid can now be slid rather than removed.