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. 


To become a leader in the prevention of health, safety, environmental, community and human rights related incidents through a proactive risk-based approach.

We identify and manage catastrophic hazards in the following ways:

  • A five-point risk scale: 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.
  • Group policies and protocols: 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.
  • Assurance: We have both departmental and Group assurance processes, focused on preventing catastrophic events.

All of our assets have identified the catastrophic hazards specific to their operations and we have developed critical controls to manage and mitigate these.

Industry-wide collaboration

We recognise the role of underground technology in the mining industry. We are looking at how best to work with other stakeholders and create communities of practice to address common challenges across the sector. For example, we are taking a leading role in the ICMM’s Initiative for Safer Cleaner Vehicles (ISCV), which is building an evolving industry pathway towards the safest approach for controlling potential vehicle interactions.

Emergency response preparedness

We require each asset to identify potential emergencies at or adjacent to their operations and to develop an appropriate Emergency Response Plan (ERP). Assets communicate their ERP to all employees, contractors and relevant external stakeholders.

Our assets regularly assess their need for emergency equipment, facilities and other resources against their HSEC risk register. We require emergency resources to include:

  • The appointment, training and equipping of rescue teams
  • Procedures for responding to specific emergency situations
  • The provision of firefighting equipment as required by the risk assessment
  • A first aid management plan supported by appropriate medical equipment and services
  • The provision of appropriate equipment to assist in rapid containment and recovery of environmental spills
  • A process for dealing with all hazardous substances and dangerous goods identified as being at risk of causing an emergency on site 
  • Assets are expected to undertake an annual simulation emergency exercise to test their ERP. These include the involvement of external emergency services when appropriate
Principles we follow
UN Global Compact
Principle 7

businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges

Principle 8

undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility

Principle 9

encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies

UN Sustainable Development Goals
Decent work and economic growth
Responsible consumption and production