Safety culture developed in the right direction

Terrafame strove to build a new kind of safety culture throughout the year, and the company's accident frequency rate fell to a third of the rate at the end of the previous year. The successes enjoyed by the plant site's fire brigade paved the way for expanding collaboration with the local rescue authority, enabling better service for the surrounding area. 

Safety was in focus at Terrafame in 2016. The aim was to change the safety culture for the better and substantially reduce the number of occupational accidents. Our safety culture was built through comprehensive, safety-oriented managerial training, which was attended by management, production managers and shift supervisors alike. The training reinforced the safety regulations and standards that are applied at Terrafame.

Thanks to the positive development of our safety culture, the number of lost-time incidents was halved to nine in 2016. The frequency of lost-time incidents decreased to 8.4 per million working hours, a reduction of roughly two thirds from the previous year. The objective for 2016 was a maximum of 7 lost-time incidents per million hours worked, so we fell slightly short of the target. 

Terrafame has two key rules for occupational safety:

  • Work is to be performed safely or not at all.
  • Time is not an obstacle to performing tasks safely, carefully and in accordance with instructions.

We follow the golden rules in our work:

  1. Protective equipment – Always use the agreed-on protective equipment!
  2. Disconnection from the power supply (zero energy) – Always do this according to instructions!
  3. Traffic – Always follow the traffic regulations of the mine!
  4. Hazardous substances – Always follow the handling instructions!

Terrafame requires its operations to be safe for its own employees and business partners alike, in all conditions and situations. The safety objective and monitoring of safety indicators also apply to our business partners that operate in the mine and plant area. During the year under review, we held quarterly safety meetings with our partners, with the safe cooperation and joint resolution of potential problems as key themes. 

During the year 2016, we also reviewed our risk assessments and prepared for a new risk assessment round in 2017. We also improved our change management process to include all the required risk assessments, the HAZOP procedure (Hazard and Operability Study procedure), cooperation with authorities and permit processes.

Rescue service duties expanded with cooperation agreement

Terrafame strengthened its own plant fire brigade in May 2016. The optimal strength of the fire brigade at all hours is five persons with rescue service training. This is achieved through close cooperation between our own personnel and the personnel of our site access control service provider. 

The reinforced plant fire brigade has succeeded very well in the performance of its duties and in joint exercises with authorities. This has led to closer cooperation with the Kainuu Rescue Services through a cooperation agreement signed in December. Since the beginning of 2017, Terrafame's plant fire brigade has served as a contract fire brigade for the Kainuu Rescue Services, also providing emergency services outside the plant area.

This improved rescue service contributes to the safety of local residents and traffic. First responders can now reach the accident site in 10 to 15 minutes instead of the earlier 35 to 45 minutes.

Terrafame's internal emergency plan was also updated in 2016.