“2021 was the first year we did not have any fatal accidents. Neither have we had any in 2022 so far. That is our goal: to create a culture of safety that is sustainable over time,” claimed Aldo de la Cruz Peceros, vice-president of operations of Volcan, at a commercial talk at Rumbo a PERUMIN, Central Peru Edition.
De la Cruz talked about the evolution of their safety management system since Glencore became a shareholder. “In 2018 we started the integration process with Glencore, and they brought the SafeWork culture to potentiate Volcan’s safety management,” he added.
He explained that SafeWork was launched in 2018. The system considered 19 elements, among which fatal hazard protocol, fatal hazard introduction, accident investigation processes, reportability and communication, and GCOM process, stood out.
Despite the significant achievements made with the system applied between 2018 and 2020, in 2021 Glencore decided to introduce the lessons learned to transform something complex into something simple and practical for the mining operation.
“What we want is to go from complexity to simplicity. From the 19 elements we used to have, we now have 9 mandatory elements. This way SafeWork got upgraded to SafeWork 2.0,” explained De la Cruz.
He elaborated on the 9 elements of SafeWork 2.0, which stem from Leadership in safety. This is the “umbrella that covers all the other elements.”
“What is Leadership in safety? An approach, a visible matrix in the field, focused on the verification of critical controls, with clear expectations,” he said. “If there is no competency strategy, no strategy to develop visible leadership and the team’s soft skills, we are not going to manage to have a strategy.”
He underscored the importance of leadership to articulate the efficient application of the other elements, namely: Planning; Risk management; Life-saving behaviors; Fatal hazard protocols, which the presenter highlighted as the heart of the system; Safety in the operation; Report and investigation of incidents; Assurance, which refers to audits; and the Implementation of actions to prevent incidents from happening again.
This way, all the real (or potential) incidents related to safety are reported and assessed to take the necessary actions.
The results of this new system can be seen in the drop in the number of accidents. Additionally, to check its progress with SafeWork 2.0, Volcan conducted an internal audit where they got a score of 3.28 in a scale from 1 to 5, 5 meaning optimal safety performance.
De la Cruz mentioned they want to keep improving constantly, always having “training at the core of the organization.”