Canadian Mines Win for Working Safe

5/15/2015

Canadian Mines Win for Working Safe

Birchtree Mine
Birchtree Mine wins the John T. Ryan regional award for safety, Thompson, Manitoba

Our Voisey's Bay Mine, located in Newfoundland and Labrador, won a national John T. Ryan Award as the safest metal mine in Canada, reporting zero lost time injuries for all of 2014.

Competing against more than 70 mines in Western Canada and the Northwest Territories, our Birchtree Mine captured the 2014 regional title with the lowest accident frequency in the area.

"We are very proud and honored to have been selected as the recipient of this award," said Matt Hynes, superintendent, Safety, Health and Environment, Labrador Operations. "We believe in and strive to meet Vale's vision, mission and values on our site. The value at the forefront is ''Life Matters Most'', which is a commitment from all site employees to genuinely care for each other while at work, helping to identify risks and prevent injury."

Our Voisey's Bay Mine is committed to sustainable development - meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

"We believe in zero harm - to our people, to our workplaces, to the communities in which we operate and to the natural environment," said Peter Langlois, director of Labrador Operations. "We demonstrate our commitment to zero harm by integrating sound risk management practices in all aspects and cycles of our business, by continuously improving these practices, and by fully merging the concepts of pollution prevention, safety, health and environment with our economic and production goals."

Moving from east to west, Birchtree mine manager Al Proulx attributes their award win to the efforts of everyone working at the mine to put safety first, and being an active part of the mine''s safety program. "A big part of this has been our Safe Production program. This safety program has influenced safety across Vale, and creates a culture of risk awareness and risk management that we want all employees to have," said Proulx. And it's working. Since jointly launching Safe Production in 2003 with USW local 6166, our Manitoba Operations have won a regional or national safety award nine times. Proulx, who joined Vale 26 years ago, says that he sees distinct safety behaviours today that were not so common 10 or 15 years ago.

"People are much more aware of hazards," he said. "We start every day with a safety discussion around safety shares and how to manage hazards, both inside and outside of work. It''s about repetition and creating that safety culture so it becomes second nature for everyone working here to think safety."

To commemorate their award wins, Birchtree and Voisey's Bay will both be hosting celebratory events for employees. At the corporate level, Peter Langlois and Lovro Paulic, vice-president of Vale's Manitoba Operations, accepted the awards on Vale''s behalf at a Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (CIM) gala in Montreal on May 11.

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Canadian Mines Win for Working Safe