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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Creating a Safety Culture Where Zero Is Possible 


We believe zero work-related injuries and illnesses is possible.


We have created a world-class safety culture that consistently delivers incident rates that are significantly below industry averages. This accomplishment requires the commitment of not only our leaders but also our employees, who are empowered to take personal responsibility for ensuring their safety and that of their coworkers—even if that means stopping work when they feel unsafe or unsure. To bring additional focus, we include an annual safety target as a component of our variable compensation plan.


After achieving 811 consecutive fatality-free days—the longest period in 70 years—a contractor working at our Point Comfort, Texas, USA, facility was fatally injured when an approximately 1,200-kilogram (2,650-pound) door being lifted into place by a crane fell backwards onto him on Nov. 18, 2014. We conducted a thorough investigation into this tragic incident and communicated our findings to all of our locations.


For the second year in a row, we had zero employee fatalities. While we achieved a year-over-year decline in our days away, restricted, and transfer (DART) rate, we saw an 11% increase in our lost workday rate and a 16% increase in our total recordable incident rate during 2014. This was due to our continued shift to focus on those exposures with fatal or serious injury potential versus those that do not have the potential life-threatening or life-altering severity. For example, less than 50% of our lost workday incidents and less than 15% of our total recordable incidents had fatal or serious injury potential.


At the end of 2014, 80.5% of our locations had worked 12 consecutive months without a lost workday, 49.2% without a DART incident, and 42.7% without a total recordable incident. 

  Global Asia Australia Europe North America South America
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
2014 0/1 0 0 0 0/1 0
Lost Workday Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Global U.S. Manufacturing Average Asia Australia Europe North America South America
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 1.0 0.00 0.32 0.06 0.07 0.09
2014 0.10 0.11 0.35 0.05 0.10 0.04
Days Away, Restricted, and Transfer Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Global U.S. Manufacturing Average Asia Australia Europe North America South America
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 2.2 0.15 0.96 0.19 0.37 0.22
2014 0.32 0.11 0.65 0.16 0.38 0.16
Total Recordable Incident Rate
Employees and supervised contractors
  Alcoa U.S. Manufacturing Average
2005 Baseline 1.48 5.6
2010 1.35 4.4
2011 1.24 4.4
2012 1.07 4.3
2013 0.98 4.0
2014 1.14
2020 Goal 0.68
2030 Goal 0.19  
Goal: 0.68Progress: As of Dec. 2014 


View all safety data, including by region and gender.  go 


Approach to Safety

Our approach to safety focuses on four main activities:

  • Identifying hazards and assessing the risks associated with our products, services, and operations;
  • Developing and implementing both design and operational controls with built-in layers of protection to mitigate 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 improving 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 the exposures most likely to result in injury. When hazard elimination is not technically feasible or is extremely impractical, we strive to minimize the likelihood or severity of the exposure.


Developing and Implementing Operational Controls

Operations and activities are controlled to ensure both personnel and process safety. Our procedures extend beyond our employees and operations to include both 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 to protect not only our employees and contractors, but also the communities where we operate.


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 treatment; 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.


We track key performance indicators for each business unit and operating location. Periodically, we validate their effectiveness in measuring and monitoring our 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;
  • Assess the potential impact and prioritize the follow-up based on the risk;
  • Conduct a causal factors analysis and take corrective and preventive action; and
  • Verify to insure corrective actions are implemented.


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


Fatality and Injury Elimination

Our most important responsibility as a company is having every employee and contractor return home safely at the end of each workday.


Fatalities and injuries often have multiple causes that involve many people operating at different levels of knowledge and experience. Most fatal and serious incidents generally involve a breach of our technical, process, leadership, or organizational defenses.


To overcome this, we have instilled a safety system and culture that enable our employees to:

  • Recognize hazards and error-likely situations;
  • Implement tested and safe methods for performing job tasks;
  • Improve the effectiveness of pre-task safety briefings;
  • Stop work until an identified hazard can be eliminated or controlled;
  • Provide layers of protection from recognized hazards;
  • Apply lessons learned to predict areas of current and future vulnerability;
  • Monitor for potential deviations from safe and proven methods; and
  • Address contractor and contracted services safety.


We minimized our fatality and injury risks by equipping our employees with the tools and knowledge they need to perform their jobs safely. The following are some key initiatives.

Fatal and Serious Injury (FSI) Prevention

The FSI Prevention initiative is designed to help all locations and regions better predict and prevent significant and fatal injuries through improved reporting, analysis, and communication of actual and potential incidents.


An incident is designated an FSI based on the potential for a significant injury or fatality, whether or not either occurred. 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 their engagement in FSI prevention and promotes proactive risk recognition and response.


Two 2014 initiatives that were outgrowths from the overarching FSI Prevention initiative were reducing the potential for chemical burns at our refineries and eliminating operator exposure during the start of ingot casting. 


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.


There are four levels of human performance implementation, with level four being the highest. At the end of 2014, 100% of our locations had achieved level 3 or 4 deployment.


Human Performance
Employee Performance Graphic

Click to enlarge


Employee Engagement 

Employee engagement is one of the most important factors in creating and sustaining a safe work environment. Our efforts in this area include safety suggestion systems, problem-solving teams, pre-job briefings, toolbox meetings, safety committees, and individual accountability for specific aspects of safety.


Our Stop for Safety Coin Campaign has also been a driver of employee engagement. The initiative encourages and recognizes employees who stop themselves or a colleague and seek help if they believe the situation is unsafe or they are unsure of the potential outcome.


The campaign reinforces to our employees that they have the authority to stop work when they perceive a potentially unsafe situation—regardless of the circumstances—and will be supported by management. We feel the more stops that occur, the better, even if many end up not being unsafe situations.


Since 2013, we have given some 26,000 Alcoa STOP coins to employees for their proactive efforts, including the following in 2014:

  • John Rowley in the United Kingdom stopped a forklift operator who was transporting a high load that could have fallen and struck someone working nearby or led to a vehicle-pedestrian collision.
  • In China, Zhang Yunhua stopped a contractor who was not wearing required fall protection.
  • After hearing strange noises coming from nearby equipment, Csaba Kohus in Hungary went to investigate and called his help chain when he recognized the equipment was malfunctioning.
  • In Brazil, Alexssandre de Oliveira stopped a coworker who was not wearing the required protective apron while performing a task involving molten materials.
  • Ron Fiddler, Drazen Simanic, Joe Esteireiro, and Jerry Logan in Canada stopped work when they realized they could not perform a task with the proper lifting techniques because a needed hoist was down for repair.


We measure our employees’ engagement in, and satisfaction with, our safety efforts via our annual Global Voices employee survey. In 2014, the highest-scoring statement in the survey (a favorable score among 91% of the 51,331 participants) was “If I see a situation that is unsafe, I can stop work.” The second safety statement, “I work in an environment that promotes safety,” had an 88% favorable score.


Employee Safety Engagement
Percent of employees indicating they work in an environment that promotes safety



Each of our locations must periodically conduct a safety self-assessment to help pinpoint areas requiring improvement.

Alcoa Self Assessment Tool Rating
Percent of locations receiving a “Good” or better self-audit score
Category 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Goal Progress
Fatality Prevention 91 91 91 92 94 Achieve a
Confined Space Entry 91 97 95 94 97 sustained rating
Mobile Equipment Safety 94 95 92 95 97 of 100% “good”
Fall Prevention 91 90 94 96 94 or better by 2020.
Lock/Tag/Verify 94 95 95 98 99  
Molten Metal Safety 69 69 71 79 79  
Combustible Dust/Particulate Safety 79 77 73 71 61  
Electrical Safety 73 83 90 93 91  
Contractor Safety 88 94 93 96 99  
Machine Safeguarding 53 71 84 92 90  
Combustion Safety 51 51 66 77 82  
2015 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 96 96 97 97
Confined Space Entry 97 97 98 99
Mobile Equipment Safety 99 99 98 98
Fall Prevention 96 94 94 93
Lock/Tag/Verify 99 97 96 96
Molten Metal Safety 84 84 87 89
Combustible Dust/Particulate Safety 58 61 59 57
Electrical Safety 89 89 89 88
Contractor Safety 99 99 98 98
Machine Safeguarding 92 92 91 93
Combustion Safety 82 83 85 87