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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Russia - 2011

Alcoa Russia Focused on Fatality Prevention


Prior to being acquired by Alcoa in 2005, two large aluminum fabricating plants in Russia averaged about three employee fatalities annually. In 2010, there was none.

 

The plants, located in Belaya Kalitva and Samara, operated for 45 years without ever achieving zero fatalities in a calendar year. The major causes of the fatalities were fall hazards, lack of efficient machine guarding, a high tolerance to risk on the part of both workers and line managers, and poor management supervision.

 

“Before Alcoa, production had always been the priority, and safety was mostly remembered when something terrible happened,” said Yulia Garshina, a senior foreman at Alcoa Samara. “Fatalities were regarded as the cost of production. Alcoa sees safety in a different way. All incidents can and should be prevented.”

 

Immediately after acquiring the facilities, Alcoa deployed basic but more stringent controls. These included mandatory hearing and eye protection; safety shoes with metatarsal and toe protection; and additional layers of protection for molten-metal activities, such as face shields and aluminized jackets. Alcoa’s corporate environment, health, and safety (EHS) specialists also delivered extensive training to both management and operators.

 

The two locations subsequently deployed numerous fatality prevention initiatives that included the following:

  • Fatality prevention teams, which included the plant general manager and business unit managers, exist at each location;
  • Fatality prevention training was developed and delivered to all Alcoa Russia employees and contractors;
  • Safety teams consisting of line managers and operators enforce safety compliance 24 hours a day;
  • A comprehensive risk assessment was performed in all production and maintenance areas;
  • A fatality prevention plan was developed, and progress against it is tracked at monthly lead team meetings;
  • Several EHS tools, including a project EHS review and injury-free event investigations, are used;
  • Employee engagement initiatives, such as “Search for Safety” and “Alcoa Can’t Waste,” were developed and deployed; and
  • Newsletters, town hall meetings, information boards, speeches and other communication methods are used on a regular basis to convey safety messages.

 
From 2005 through May 2011, the Samara and Belaya Kalitva plants eliminated 9,354 of the 9,456 fatality risks identified and continued working on eliminating the remaining 102. In that same period, the locations suffered nine fatalities but also achieved fatality-free years in 2006 and 2010.

 

In Alcoa’s 2010 Global Voices employee survey, 91% of Alcoa Russia employees indicated they work in an environment that promotes safety compared to 82% in 2009.

 

“Safety is visible and tangible, and it is the first thing covered in daily meetings,” said Garshina. “An incident-free workplace is our goal, and we are aspiring to achieve it.”
 

 

 

Fatality Risk Performance
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Through May 2011 Total
Fatality Risks Identified 1,896 1,841 1,408 1,888 1,521 873 29 9,456
Fatality Risks Eliminated 1,850 1,865 1,371 1,782 1,605 836 45 9,354

   

 

Fatalities
  2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 Through May 2011 Total
Employees 1 0 1 3 1 0 0 6
Contractors 1 0 1 1 0 0 0 3
Total per Year 2 0 2 4 1 0 0 9