Zero Is Possible
Zero is Possible


Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate

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Total Recordable Incident Rate
Total Recordable Incident Rate

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We Believe Zero Is Possible 


Zero work-related injuries and illnesses have been long-standing goals for Alcoa. We strive to work safely in a manner that protects and promotes the health and well-being of our employees, contractors, and the communities in which we operate, because it is fundamentally the right thing to do.


Meandering walkways and physical guards at a U.S. plant provided a barrier between vehicles and pedestrians and helped slow down employees and position them so they look down the aisles to see oncoming traffic.

Our safety systems are built on a foundation of values and principles. They are anchored in place with committed people who are actively engaged and effectively supporting a safe work environment and safe work methods.


In 2013, we had zero employee and contractor fatalities. This was possible because many Alcoans took the initiative to find and fix error traps before they became life-threatening and to follow a simple principle—stop work for safety.


We achieved year-over-year declines in all three of our major safety rates in 2013:

  • Lost workday (LWD) rate declined 31% to 0.09;
  • Days away, restricted, and transfer (DART) rate reached 0.35, a 30% improvement; and
  • Total recordable incident rate (TRIR) declined 8% to 0.98.


At the end of 2013, 84.2% of our safety reporting units had worked 12 consecutive months without a lost workday, 49.5% without a DART incident, and 42.4% without a total recordable incident.


In 2013, we again included an annual safety target as a component of our variable compensation program to bring additional focus on this critical aspect of sustainability.


Although the safety performance for the Ma’aden-Alcoa joint venture in Saudi Arabia is not included in our corporate results, it is important to report that a 36-year-old contract employee working on the project fell approximately 5.5 meters (18 feet) through an open area in a floor grating to a concrete slab below in 2013. He suffered severe head injuries, which resulted in his death.

  Global Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2009 2/2 1/0 0/1 1/0 0 0/1
2010 3/1 0 0 0 2/0 1/1
2011 0/1 0 0 0/1 0 0
2012 2/0 0 0 0 2/0 0
2013 0 0 0 0 0 0
Fatalities by Gender
Employees and contractors
  Male Female Total
2009 3 1 4
2010 4 0 4
2011 1 0 1
2012 2 0 2
2013 0 0 0
2014 Fatalities
Quarter Total Employees and Supervised Contractors Non-supervised Contractors
First 0 0 0
Second 0 0 0
Third 0 0 0
Fourth 1 0 1
Lost Workday Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Global U.S. Manufacturing Average Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2009 0.13 1.0 0.20 0.10 0.20 0.21 0.07
2010 0.12 1.1 0.30 0.44 0.09 0.14 0.10
2011 0.12 1.1 0.06 0.39 0.16 0.12 0.07
2012 0.13 1.1 0.27 0.47 0.10 0.12 0.07
2013 0.09 0.00 0.32 0.06 0.07 0.09
Lost Workday Incidents by Gender
Employees and supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2009 80 22 102
2010 74 12 86
2011 82 11 93
2012 76 14 90
2013 49  7 56
Lost Workday Rate
Non-supervised contractors
  Global Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2011 0.12 1.71 0.26 0.44 0.23 0.03
2012 0.04 0 0.28 0.20 0.23 0.06
2013 0.04 0 0.25 0.08 0.07 0.05
Lost Workday Incidents by Gender
Non-supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2011 27 4 31
2012 22 1 23
2013 12 1 13
2014 Lost Workday Rate
Quarter Employees and Supervised Contractors Non-supervised Contractors
First 0.08 0.17
Second 0.09 0.14
Third 0.10 0.11
Fourth 0.10 0.12
Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Global U.S. Manufacturing Average Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2009 0.69 2.3 0.59 0.89 0.42 1.17 0.29
2010 0.78 2.4 0.71 1.60 0.51 1.00 0.54
2011 0.78 2.4 0.40 1.46 0.56 0.90 0.36
2012 0.50 2.4 0.37 1.41 0.27 0.60 0.21
2013 0.35 0.15 0.96 0.19 0.37 0.22
Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Incidents by Gender
Employees and supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2009 387 91 478
2010 410 77 487
2011 424 75 499
2012 295 53 348
2013 195 34 229
Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate
Non-supervised contractors
  Global Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2011 0.29 1.71 0.98 0.55 0.59 0.28
2012 0.12 0 0.94 0.28 0.35 0.26
2013 0.18 0 0.99 0.21 0.77 0.22
Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Incidents by Gender
Non-supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2011 67 1 68
2012 57 3 60
2013 52 8 60
2014 Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate
Quarter Employees and Supervised Contractors Non-supervised Contractors
First 0.33 0.38
Second 0.34 0.30
Third 0.33 0.28
Fourth 0.32 0.28
Total Recordable Incident Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Alcoa U.S. Manufacturing Average
2005 Baseline 1.48 5.6
2009 1.28 4.3
2010 1.35 4.4
2011 1.24 4.4
2012 1.07 4.3
2013 0.98
2020 Goal 0.68
2030 Goal 0.19  
Goal: 0.68Progress: As of Dec. 2013 
Total Recordable Incident Rate by Region
Employees and supervised contractors
  Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2009 0.78 2.69 0.71 2.13 0.49
2010 1.25 3.32 0.86 1.82 0.82
2011 0.80 2.98 0.80 1.52 0.59
2012 0.80 2.53 0.54 1.33 0.46
2013 0.46 2.04 0.48 1.19 0.45
Total Recordable Incidents by Gender
Employees and supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2009 779 152 931
2010 776 125 901
2011 732 125 857
2012 622 111 733
2013 552  77 629
Total Recordable Incident Rate
Non-supervised contractors
  Global Asia Australia Europe North America South America
2011 0.51 6.00 1.95 0.77 0.94 0.58
2012 0.30 1.41 1.79 0.52 0.94 0.58
2013 0.37 0 2.03 0.34 1.10 0.53
Total Recordable Incidents by Gender
Non-supervised contractors
  Male Female Total
2011 122 10 132
2012 142  7 149
2013  96  8 104
2014 Total Recordable Incident Rate
Quarter Employees and Supervised Contractors Non-supervised Contractors
First 0.97 0.89
Second 1.00 0.83
Third 1.10 0.75
Fourth 1.14 0.76
Approach to Safety

The following are the four main activities undertaken in support of our safety system:

  • Identifying hazards and assessing the risks associated with our products, services, and operations;
  • Developing and implementing operational controls with built-in layers of protection to mitigate effectively the impact of those risks;
  • Monitoring and maintaining our hazard recognition, risk assessment, and operational control activities to ensure they are current and effective; and
  • Reacting to correct gaps in our protective systems and continuously improve system stability.


Identifying Hazards and Assessing the Risks

We expect each business unit to proactively identify and eliminate potential hazards in the workplace, going beyond regulatory compliance and looking for ways to reduce injuries.


Ideally, we want to find solutions and use countermeasures that eliminate potential hazards. When hazard elimination is not technically feasible or is extremely impractical, we need to at least ensure that the hazards are managed so that incidents are prevented by reducing the potential effects or severity of a hazard, likelihood of exposure to the hazard, and frequency of exposure.


Developing and Implementing Operational Controls

Operations and activities that could result in risk or impact are controlled to ensure both personnel and process safety. We develop procedures to cover both internal activities, such as control of hazardous energy and fall protection, and external activities, including contractor and product safety.


Every business unit is also required to ensure that each of its locations develops, implements, and maintains written emergency response plans consistent with our mandatory procedure for such plans, as well as applicable laws, local regulations, and consensus standards regarding emergency response planning, training, notification, and response.


Our emergency response plans are supported by the required emergency response resources, including emergency response equipment and trained personnel. The plans must include specific roles, responsibilities, procedures, and equipment for the detection, communication, prevention of, and response to emergency situations.


Based on risk, many operating location emergency response plans will define protocols for workplace and community medical; fire and explosion; severe weather; evacuation and rescue; facility and personnel security; and accidental release of substances potentially harmful to health or the environment.


Monitoring and Maintaining Systems

Monitoring and maintaining our hazard recognition, risk assessment, and operational control activities to ensure they are current and effective requires us to select the appropriate performance indicators and monitor and track performance against them. When selecting performance indicators, we seek the following characteristics:

  • Predictive and leading;
  • Objective, verifiable, and measurable;
  • Relevant to Alcoa’s activities, products, and services;
  • Consistent with Alcoa’s safety policy, objectives, and targets;
  • Practical, cost-effective, and technologically feasible; and
  • Meaningful to internal and external stakeholders.


We track key performance indicators for each business unit and operating location. Periodically, we test and calibrate these performance indicators against the safety objectives and action plans to determine their effectiveness in measuring and monitoring Alcoa’s overall safety performance.


Reacting to Correct Gaps and Improve System Stability

When a safety or other protective-system is not in conformance, business units and locations are expected to initiate a corrective action process that, at a minimum, involves the following:

  • Investigate the alleged nonconformance and determine its validity;
  • Determine the potential impact of the nonconformance and prioritize work based on the risk;
  • Identify the root cause;
  • Determine necessary corrective and preventive action;
  • Assign a level of urgency and scope to the corrective and preventive action that is commensurate with the magnitude of the nonconformance and its related impacts; and
  • Verify to insure corrective actions are implemented.


Alcoa’s Executive Council reviews our enterprise risk management system at least annually. The review process, which is designed to ensure the continued suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness of the organization’s overall enterprise risk management, includes significant risks for both personnel and process safety.


Fatality Elimination

One of our guiding safety principles is that we value human life above all else and manage risk accordingly. One life lost is one too many.


Fatalities often have multiple causes, and these tend to surface at different locations, sometimes at ones with outstanding injury performance and health and safety audit results. This makes some fatalities even harder to predict and prevent.


We have learned through our investigations that these catastrophic events often involve many people operating at different levels of knowledge and experience, and the incidents generally involve a breach of human-technical, leadership, and organizational defenses.


We know our efforts to expand the use of pre-job briefings and pre-job risk assessment tools prior to the start of non-routine work are having a positive impact. We’ve also learned to expand the use of automated systems that provide a faster response to a potential hazard when a human response is deemed too slow or that effectively places the individual in a high-risk exposure.


Our focus and attention on fatality prevention continues with the objective of building a system and culture that is more robust in its ability to:

  • Recognize risks and error-likely situations;
  • Improve the effectiveness of pre-job briefings for high-risk tasks;
  • Assess the risk for fatal or other high-potential consequences by job or task and routine or non-routine activities;
  • Provide layers of protection from recognized risks;
  • Stop work until an identified risk can be eliminated or controlled;
  • Apply lessons learned to predict areas of current and future vulnerability, and incorporate error-proofing;
  • Pre-design tested and safe methods for performing job tasks;
  • Improve the use of field observations on higher risk tasks as a means to monitor for potential deviations from safe and proven methods; and
  • Address contractor and contracted services safety.


We are a participant in the Mercer ORC Fatality and Serious Injury Task Force, which benchmarks information that assists organizations in achieving safety and health excellence related to preventing fatalities and serious incidents. The task force also collects and analyzes critical information necessary to identify factors that contribute to fatal and serious cases and recommends preventive measures.


We continue to test how our management systems contribute to fatalities and what predictive or leading indicators might be used to signal when we are moving closer to an at-risk condition and/or a weakness in our protective systems. We are gaining traction in our efforts to create an awareness and understanding of key drivers that increase the potential for human error as it relates to fatalities.


Human performance discussion at the Kwinana Refinery in Australia

In collaboration with the Safety Sciences Department at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Alcoa Foundation has sponsored periodic forums on fatality prevention in the workplace to further advance a global focus on fatality and serious injury prevention by key stakeholders, including industry, labor, and government.


In 2013, we joined several other multinational organizations to co-sponsor a human and organizational performance summit. Efforts like these help underscore our reputation as a thought leader and corporate benchmark in both fatality prevention and human performance.

Key Performance Indicators

In addition to fatality elimination, our safety strategy, targets, and objectives continue to be focused on improving our performance in key safety metrics. These include lost workday rate, DART, TRIR, and employee new-to-the-job incident rates. This last metric has traditionally accounted for approximately 30% of all occupational injuries annually.


To achieve continuous improvement in these rates, we have implemented the following initiatives.


Fatal and Serious Injury Prevention

An analysis of our historical incident data suggested that approximately 20% of all of our incidents had the potential for life-threatening or life-altering outcomes. Encouraging employees to report incidents that did not lead to a life-threatening or life-altering injury or illness—but had the potential to do so—raises the level of employee engagement in fatal and serious injury prevention and promotes proactive risk recognition and response. The key to success is systemically predicting and eliminating single-point vulnerability (often in the form of human error) for high-risk tasks. 


Human Performance

Human performance focuses on the way people, programs, processes, work environment, organization, and equipment work together as a system. It teaches employees how to recognize error and error-likely situations to predict, reduce, manage, and prevent fatalities and injuries from occurring. It also teaches how to avoid error traps, which are conditions or situations that people may fall into without recognizing it and are proven through research to be leading causes of injuries.


Safety Engagement Profile and Stop Work Authority

Safety research suggests that one of the most important leading indicators of sustaining organizational change in safety is the level of employee involvement and engagement. Some of our proactive means for promoting employee engagement include:

  • Employee authority to stop work due to an actual or perceived unsafe situation;
  • Safety suggestions;
  • Single-point-accountable roles for a specific focus area of the safety system; and
  • Participation on safety problem-solving teams, pre-job briefings, toolbox meetings, safety committees, and incident investigations.


In 2013, the statement “I work in an environment that promotes safety” in the Alcoa Global Voices employee survey had a favorable score among 88% of the participants. The highest-scoring question in the survey overall (at 91% favorable) was the newly added question “If I see a situation that is unsafe, I can stop work.” This is important confirmation of our reinforced commitment to eliminating fatalities and workplace injuries.


Employee Safety Engagement
Percent of employees indicating they work in an environment that promotes safety
Goal: 100%Progress: As of Dec. 2013 


Overtime and Fatigue Risk Management

An Alcoa-Yale Partnership study documented an association between injuries and extended work hours, with the risk of injury increasing significantly after 16 consecutive work hours. An increase in injury risk was also observed when more than 64 hours were worked in seven consecutive days. As a result, we have overtime caps of 16 hours per day and 64 hours per week (66 hours for employees working 12-hour shifts) and require waivers to exceed those limits.


Work continued in 2013 to better define the actions we can take to reduce the overall risk associated with this workplace variable. We are building upon our ergonomic, human performance, and wellness platforms to more closely evaluate and attempt to understand the impact of fatigue on employees’ well-being from both a safety and health perspective. Fatigue risk management training is available, and we have identified risk factors and a number of actions we can take to reduce the overall risk associated with this workplace variable.


Mobile Equipment

In plants, free-moving mobile equipment represents the most significant fatality risk in Alcoa. In particular, the vehicle-pedestrian interface is the most frequent type of mobile equipment exposure of concern. As a result of a multi-year effort across our global locations, more than 25% of our free-moving mobile equipment units have been eliminated or replaced with alternative equipment, greatly reducing the risk for vehicle-pedestrian collisions.


Information System Efficiency and Effectiveness

We are continually looking to improve our safety system efficiency by streamlining the many information systems used to accumulate, analyze, and report safety-related information. This enables skilled people to focus more on value-added work, such as risk assessment and root-cause analysis.


Our global real-time incident management system, called Alcoa Incident, remains an effective tool to report and analyze injuries, illnesses, environmental incidents, and environment, health, and safety-related events. Alcoa Incident is available in multiple languages for thousands of users. These include shop floor employees, contractors, department safety committee members, business leaders, audit staff, compliance employees, and environment, health, and safety professionals. 

Continuous Improvement Efforts

Since 2005, our continuous improvement efforts have focused on the following:

  • Simpler and more binary safety standards;
  • The adoption of the International Organization for Standardization’s ISO 18001 (occupational health and safety management systems) and ISO 14001 (environmental management systems) standards;
  • Common information systems; and
  • Streamlined audit protocols.


Increased stability, reliability, and strength of the safety system were the goals, so long-term improvements in these areas would benefit the customer, the business, and individuals working within the system.


Annually, each Alcoa business unit is challenged to analyze its injury experience and develop and implement a problem-solving and improvement plan that addresses its risk profile as it relates to our injury performance. While individual business-unit risks vary, the key corporate drivers include: employees new to the job (less than 18 months); hand and finger injuries; significant ergonomic risk; exposure to slips, trips, and falls; and seasonal or non-routine task exposures.


As part of our continuous improvement efforts, each location must periodically conduct a safety self-assessment. These audits help pinpoint areas requiring improvement.

Alcoa Self Assessment Tool Rating
Percent of locations receiving a “Good” or better self-audit score
Category 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 Goal Progress
Fatality Prevention 70 91 91 91 92 Achieve a
Confined Space Entry 91 91 97 95 94 sustained rating
Mobile Equipment Safety 89 94 95 92 95 of 100% “good”
Fall Prevention 89 91 90 94 96 or better by 2020.
Lock/Tag/Verify 88 94 95 95 98  
Molten Metal Safety   69 69 71 79  
Combustible Dust/Particulate Safety   79 77 73 71  
Electrical Safety 61 73 83 90 93  
Contractor Safety 77 88 94 93 96  
Machine Safeguarding 48 53 71 84 92  
Combustion Safety 50 51 51 66 77  
2014 Alcoa Self Assessment Tool Rating
Percent of locations receiving a “Good” or better self-audit score
Category First Quarter Second Quarter Third Quarter Fourth Quarter
Fatality Prevention 92 92 93 94
Confined Space Entry 93 94 94 97
Mobile Equipment Safety 95 96 97 97
Fall Prevention 95 93 93 94
Lock/Tag/Verify 98 98 99 99
Molten Metal Safety 79 77 75 79
Combustible Dust/Particulate Safety 69 67 64 61
Electrical Safety 91 89 89 91
Contractor Safety 97 97 98 99
Machine Safeguarding 91 92 91 90
Combustion Safety 81 80 79 82


Alcoa Business System Implementation

The introduction of human performance concepts is just one example where the safety system is moving toward working in concert within the broader business system framework, particularly the people component, to target non-conforming materials, products, equipment, and work practices, as well as accidents and waste. As we shift our safety focus to analyze work activities associated with a particular person, task, and time, we will be making error precursors and triggers more visible. Once visible, errors can be predicted, managed, and prevented through standardized work and built-in tests for validating safe work practices at the activity level.


Creating a clearer connection with our manufacturing systems also includes the following:

  • Applying total productive maintenance principles so that equipment failures with the potential to cause harm are anticipated and eliminated;
  • Applying ergonomic principles to improve the flow of work, the demands of the task, and the fit between tools, equipment, materials, and the person;
  • Promoting a just and fair culture that supports respect for people and encourages employee engagement; and
  • Supporting analysis to cause and problem solving.


We have been shifting our training focus from instructor-led to more on-demand/online module training in response to the expressed needs of our customers and the economic climate.


In 2013, we added the following safety courses to AlcoaLearn, our online learning management system:

  • Combustible particulate safety;
  • Crew resource management;
  • Fatigue risk management in maintenance;
  • Incident nature and causes; and
  • Situational awareness.


Web-based broadcast sessions (webinars) remained an important vehicle for training delivery in 2013, ensuring that our business unit and location professionals maintained the knowledge and skills necessary to support our EHS program needs. We offered 50 webinar topics across the EHS disciplines in 2013, with 380 EHS professionals from 74 locations attending those pertaining to safety.


In some cases, instructor-led classroom sessions we call Skillbuilders are the best way to deliver training. Our instructors invested 72 hours to develop and deliver four onsite safety Skillbuilders in 2013, which were attended by 66 employees representing 24 locations.


Case Studies

Alcoa Refineries Strive to Eliminate Burn Injuries 

Contractor Safety Management Program Reduces Risk of Serious Injury 

Global Efforts Eliminating the Risks of Mobile Equipment

Focus on Safety Delivers Record Performance for Global Rolled Products

Transforming Locations into Record-Breaking Performers

Program for High-Risk Capacity Restarts Improves Safety, Productivity

Segregating Pedestrians and Mobile Equipment

Human Performance Program Reduces Errors, Boosts Safety Performance

Alcoa Russia Focused on Fatality Prevention

Eliminating Fatalities One Risk at a Time


Related Links
Alcoa Health

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