Employees and all contractors
Our health vision is to prevent occupational disease through our exposure controls; support personal health and well-being through our workplaces and culture; and operate in a manner that does not negatively impact the health of our communities.
Despite resources and focus being diverted to address the COVID-19 pandemic, we achieved the following progress on key initiatives during 2020:
- An updated global Heat Stress Management Standard that establishes a quantitative exposure assessment approach to more rigorously characterize risk, a physiological monitoring requirement for the highest identified risk scenarios, revised acclimatization protocols and enhanced potroom practices;
- The further substitution of ramming paste containing coal tar pitch in potroom applications, which is consistent with European REACH regulation imperatives and our internal strategy to reduce or eliminate carcinogens, where possible;
- A completed inventory of welding risks across all global locations, with location-defined targets for control;
- A complete review of our global hazardous materials management processes and controls, which culminated in a significantly updated global standard that addresses Alcoa and contractor issues; and
- Ongoing incremental progress in identifying and controlling noise and chemical exposures.
Fatigue risk management also gained further traction in 2020, as our locations continued to identify and close gaps against our new Fatigue Risk Management Standard.
Mental health was a strong and recurrent focus area during the year due to the uncertainty and dynamic nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, our necessary work-from-home policy for appropriate personnel, travel and gathering restrictions, and the “pandemic fatigue” that was experienced individually and collectively.
Learn more in the full 2020 Alcoa Sustainability Report.
A Drive for Safety
Hauling bauxite ore through mountainous terrain is a critical safety risk for our Poços de Caldas mine in Brazil. In September 2020, the location launched its Elite Drivers Program to enhance the skills of all contracted drivers who transport the mine’s bauxite.
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A Focus on Mental Health
When the Alcoa email offering an emotional checkup during the pandemic reached the inbox of a mechanical engineer at our Juruti mine in Brazil, he hesitated.
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Talking Safety…Peer to Peer
Our Deschambault smelter in Canada is reinforcing its robust safety culture with a peer-to-peer program that is based on friendly interventions if an unsafe situation or behavior is observed.
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