Case Studies

These case studies illustrate how Alcoa is acting upon its commitment to sustainable development throughout the world. We are pleased with this progress, but look forward to achieving even more.

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2008 — Health and Safety

Ensuring that safety instructions are carefully followed

You have worked with your team to identify the major safety risks, you have found the appropriate corrective measures, you put everything in place to ensure they are quickly applied and you, of course, expect that these essential safety instructions will be followed.  Congratulations!  But what if they aren’t? Or if they are, but only some of the time?  What then?
It is precisely to prevent the health and safety leaders at the Bécancour Smelter from finding themselves in this situation that ABI held a training session with the experts from Prévention Expert Conseil.
This training aimed to provide managers with shared tools to facilitate daily health and safety interventions.  Indeed, to ensure that safety instructions and the desired attitudes are adopted company-wide, it is essential that they are consistent across the board.  The same goes for how they are applied.
Another goal of the training was to promote the use of efficient communication to mobilize employees for accident prevention, because it is essential that every individual is convinced that they must act responsibly when it comes to health and safety.
To start the training on the right foot, it was important to first determine what factors can prompt employees to fail to apply safety instructions.  Ten main factors were identified.
  1. Stress
  2. Heavy workload
  3. Time constraints
  4. Insufficient communication
  5. Inadequate or vague work instructions
  6. Excessive confidence in their skills or ability to perform the job
  7. A new or infrequently performed task
  8. Distractions
  9. Return from a vacation of more than four days
  10. The end of a shift or operating cycle
Once “enemies” are identified, it is easier to defeat them.  And since no one would consciously endanger themselves and risk a serious accident, common sense becomes the greatest ally once employees are made aware of dangers and how to avoid them.
To achieve this objective, the training focused on a number of elements, including the following main points: 
  • Clarify expectations and encourage a personal commitment towards prevention, which must be considered a value
  • Establish that accountability is also a shared value
  • Define the parameters for success in health and safety
  • Identify the elements that enable the development of winning prevention behaviours
  • Understand the notion of human error in prevention and bring solutions
  • Use logic to foster understanding of messages and the adoption of proper behaviours
  • Develop and adopt methods of communication and collaboration that are stimulating and rewarding to yourself and others
  • Know how to be a prevention leader
  • Design an individual development plan
  • Maintain the knowledge acquired through co-development strategies
Since it is focused on action and results, participants find this training particularly useful and it has already generated some positive results.  Calling all interested parties!