Catastrophic hazard management

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We are committed to protecting the safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities and environment around us.

Why this matters

By recognising and mitigating the risk of a disastrous event, we can better protect our people, communities and the environment.

We have set targets for catastrophic hazards. These include:

  • The elimination of fatalities
  • Zero major or catastrophic environmental incidents.


Our approach

We define catastrophic hazards as events that – though unlikely – could cause widespread loss of life, or significant environmental harm, resulting also in major reputational or financial damage. 

We identify and manage catastrophic hazards in the following ways:

A five-point risk scale Group policies and protocols Assurance
We classify potential incidents on a five-point scale from 1 (negligible) to 5 (catastrophic) – and seek to control the potential causes of catastrophic hazards at all times.

We have a Group policy for managing catastrophic and fatal hazards. This policy demands rigorous monitoring, evaluation and reporting.

We also have protocols for both catastrophic and fatal hazards. We require our assets to self-assess against these – and to identify the critical controls necessary to address risks.

We have both departmental and Group assurance processes, focused on preventing catastrophic events.

Table best viewed in landscape

Our progress

During 2017, each of our assets began to develop a site-specific knowledge base as they build and consolidate their understanding of the critical controls appropriate for the catastrophic hazards they face. Each department reports quarterly to the Board HSEC committee on their implementation progress and critical control verification activities. We also started working with industry peers and the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Roundtable (EMESRT).

Principles we follow

UN Global Compact Principle 7

Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

UN Sustainable Development Goals - Goals 3 and 8

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all

International Council on Mining and Metals Principle 4

Principle 4: Implement effective risk-management strategies and systems based on sound science and which account for stakeholder perceptions of risks

Next steps

We will develop additional catastrophic hazard protocols, roll out the collision avoidance technology at relevant operations, work with industry peers and the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table to develop knowledge on catastrophic hazard management, and further integrate process safety management practices into applicable operations.

We also recognise that, as a Group, we need a more holistic approach that focuses more on human factors. This will lead to a greater understanding of the role of people in managing critical controls.