Alumina Limited


As a non-operating partner in AWAC, Alumina Limited views workplace safety as a key performance indicator because:

  • It is a fundamental right for employees, contractors and visitors to be safe at work. 
  • It demonstrates the level of management control and expertise that Alcoa brings to operating the AWAC joint venture.
  • A safe work environment encourages work participation and attendance, which drives productivity and performance. 

Managing safety in AWAC’s complex mining and manufacturing environment requires strong systems as well as a focussed safety culture committed to continuous improvement.  As the operator Alcoa has invested substantial intellectual, financial and system resources over several decades to understand the key drivers behind safety behaviour with the sole aim of eliminating fatalities and serious injuries from AWAC’s operations. Alcoa's stated goal for a healthy workplace is to eliminate all health hazards that could potentially affect employees, contractors, and other individuals within their managed facilities which includes AWAC's global operations. If elimination is not feasible, Alcoa reduce the risk to the fullest extent possible.

With that said, it is with deep regret that two experienced contractors were fatally injured in 2017.

  • At AWAC’s Juruti mine in Brazil, a 14 metre tree snapped and struck a drilling contractor.
  • At the Alumar refinery in Brazil, a contractor working on a pneumatic-activated valve sustained chemical and thermal burns.

Following thorough investigations, action plans were developed for short and long term risk reduction.

Approach to Safety

In 2017, Alcoa focussed on preventing and/or mitigating fatalities and life-altering injuries. This involved understanding how work is conducted and the associated hazards and risks.

 Initiatives included:

  •  Critical risk assessment – registering at each site, all safety hazards, eliminating the hazards or implementing controls to prevent or mitigate the risk
  • Critical 6 plus 1: 

Results and goals 2017 

Alcoa Corporation as operator/manager of the AWAC operations, revised strategy focusses on two key areas:

  •  Preventing and mitigating fatalities and life-altering injuries and,
  • Implementing more transparent, accessible and inclusive reporting.

Prevention and mitigation

This is structured around understanding work processes and their associated risks as opposed to assuming how the work is performed.

 Alcoa in refocusing its fatality prevention process and improving safety, directed their effort on plant floor and operational work areas including:

  • Critical risk management – each location develops a registry of all safety hazards
  • Critical 6 plus 1 – six most critical hazard categories – mobile equipment, crane, confined space, fall control, lock/tag/verify and electrical plus a critical hazard for each production process – mining (haul trucks), refining (chemical burns), smelting (molten metal
  • Risk based assessment – to identify high risks from an on the plant-floor evaluation
  • Worker on foot initiative – people on foot cannot be in the same area as vehicle
  • Human performance – work towards certification in a core operating standard based on human performance. Teaches employees how to anticipate and recognise error and error-likely situations to predict, reduce, manage and prevent fatalities and injuries from occurring.
  • Skill builders – training sessions on a critical safety topic. Topics rotate.
  • Environment, health and safet (EHS) onboarding system – to acclimatise new EHS employees, plant managers and vice presidents of operations to the EHS culture.
  • Contractor safety process – within the alumina business unit, rolled out a new contractor safety process in 2017.

Also all of AWAC employees are authorised to stop their work or that of a colleague if they consider the situation is unsafe or if they are unsure of the potential outcome.


In 2017, Alcoa recalibrated the collection of health and safety data across all operations including the AWAC assets. This realigning of measures resulted in a significant increase in the rates year-on-year.  The reporting of safety rates including employees, temporary workers and supervised and non-supervised contractors providing greater transparency of reporting and improve safety investigations and will drive ownership of safety to include all persons at AWAC sites.

 Other new metrics that will be monitored are closing-out actions on high-risk findings from the risk-based assessment as well as the completion rates of putting controls in place for the critical 6 plus 1.

Fatalities employees and supervised contractors

    Global    Australia    Europe    North America  South America
2017 2 0 0 0 2

Employees/contractorsFatalities by Gender


    Male      Female   
2012 0 0
2013 0 0
2014 0/1 0
2015 0/1 0
2016 0/1 0
2017 0/2  

Lost Workday Rate

Employees and supervised contractors

    Global    Australia    Europe    North America  South America
2013 0.20 0.50 0 0.25 0.05
2014 0.17 0.42 0 0.50 0.06
2015 0.16 0.2 0 0.23 0.09
2016 0.16 0.41 0 0 0.14
2017 0.315 0.458 0.141 1.042 0.169

Lost workday rate represents the number of injuries and illnesses resulting in one or more days away from work per 100 full-time workers

Lost Workday incidents by Gender

Employees and supervised contractors


    Male      Female      Total   
2013 26 1 27
2014 22 1 23
2015 11 0 11
2016 20 0 20
2017 32 2 34

Days Away, Restricted and Transfer Rate

Employees and supervised contractors

  Global  Australia  Europe  North America  South America 
2013 0.56 1.19 0 1.11 0.08
2014 0.51 0.86 0.12 1.01 0.09
2015 0.39 0.42 0.12 0.92 0.09
2016 0.31 0.23 0 0 0
2017 0.575 0.859 0.562 3.127 0.211

Days away, restricted and transfer rate includes lost workday cases plus cases that involve days of restricted duty and job transfer per 100 full-time workers.

Days Away, Restricted and Transfer Incidents by Gender Employees and supervised contractors


  Male  Female  Total 
2013 66 4 67
2014 46 1 47
2015 23 0 23
2016 9 1 10
2017 59 3 62

Total Recordable Incident Rate Employees and supervised contractors

 GlobalAustraliaEuropeNorth America South America 
2013   2.39 0.11 3.19 0.23
2014   2.06 0.46 4.36 0.40
2015   1.0 0.36 4.72 0.09
2016 1.49 1.60 0.91 4.49 0.57
2017 1.299 2.082 0.703 4.169 0.465

Total recordable incident rate represents the number of injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, job transfer or restriction, medical treatment or other recordables per 100 full-time workers.

Total Recordable Incidents by Gender

  Male  Female  Total 
2013 141 5 146
2014 127 6 133
2015 81 2 83
2016 84 6 90
2017 132 8 140

Occupational Disease Rate

Employees/supervised contractors

 GlobalAustraliaEuropeNorth America South America 
2017 0.213 0.420 0.0 0.0 0.021

The occupational disease rate represents the number of reported illnesses per 100 full-time workers. This rate is heavily influenced by the inclusion of non-instantaneous hearing-loss incidents, which represent a substantial contribution to the overall occupational disease rate.

Non-supervised contractors

 GlobalAustraliaEuropeNorth America South America 
2017 0.009 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.021

Regional rates may fluctuate significantly year-over-year because of the relatively small number of disease cases identified overall.

Alumina Limited’s Results

While Alumina Limited has a relatively small operational footprint, we focus on our safety performance through training. There were no recordable injuries for the year or Lost Work Days as a result of incidents.