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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Australia - 2009

Safety League Reduces Injuries, Increases Community Engagement


While professional athletes are battling it out in the Australian Football League from February through September each year, employees at Alcoa’s smelter in Portland, Australia, are competing in the Portland Aluminium Safety League (PASL)—a unique program to reduce injuries and increase community engagement.

Based on an employee suggestion, the PASL has teams of employees and contractors throughout the smelter earning points for health- and safety-oriented activities. The team with the most points at the end of the “season” is crowned champion and earns A$5,000 (US$3,230) for a local charity, with the remaining teams earning at least A$1,000 (US$645) for their charities. A total of A$23,000 (US$14,870) will be donated at the end of the 2009 season.

“I think the PASL has made people more conscious about safety,” said Maryanne Galloway, a health and safety representative who served as captain of the Potroom Lions during the 2008 season. “There’s a greater awareness to be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary. For me, being involved in the program increased my interest in safety. I was a potroom operator when I served as team captain, and I decided to apply for my current position because of that interest.”

Each team selects its own name based on the name of a team in the Australia Football League. Team captains are in charge of tallying the points earned each month and serving as the communication link with the smelter’s safety team. Coaches, who are the managers in the area, provide support. A tribunal ensures the rules are followed.

The teams also determine the charity that will receive their donation. Charity representatives meet with their respective team at the start of the season, helping build relationships between the employees and the community.

During the season, team members can score individual points and goals—worth six points—for more than 40 predetermined activities. For example, an employee can score a goal for each kilogram (2.2 pounds) of weight lost and a point for attending a crew safety meeting. A goal is earned for every risk controlled, and a healthy lunch brought from home equals a point. Points can also be scored for reviewing standard work instructions or reporting injury-free events.

The increase in safety awareness and activity has not only engaged employees, but also helped Portland Aluminium reduce its lost workday rate from 0.5 in 2007 to 0.0 for 2008—the first year for the safety league. The smelter’s total recordable rate also declined from 3.69 to 3.19 during the same period.