Employee Health & Safety
A Commitment To Our Employees
At The Renco Group, our companies' world-class facilities are run by experienced employees whose health and safety is our foremost concern. Using the latest in training, technology and workplace management techniques, our member companies continually strive to identify and eliminate workplace hazards, foster safe practices and maintain an open dialogue on health and safety issues. As a result, even in industries often considered very dangerous, our companies have won accolades for their low incidence of reportable injuries and lost-time accidents as well as their safe hazardous materials handling procedures. This focus is evidenced at Doe Run which operates some of the safest underground mines in the world, as demonstrated by the 24 Sentinels of Safety titles received by the company. Awarded annually by the U.S. Mine Safety & Health Administration, this award is the most prestigious safety honor in the U.S. mining industry.
FULL COMPLIANCE. Our philosophy starts with an unequivocal commitment to complying fully with all government safety regulations. At the federal level, for employee related matters, the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) are the primary oversight agencies for many of our companies' operations. Our companies also operate in full compliance with all workplace standards set forth by other groups at the state, county and local levels.
ZERO TOLERANCE FOR LOST-TIME INJURIES. Starting from the basic premise that even one on-the-job injury or illness is too many, our companies have made it a top priority to achieve zero lost-time incidents. Each of our member companies has in place its own custom-tailored safety program, implementing industry-leading best practices in such areas as hazard control and risk management. One example of this is at US Magnesium which has made steady progress in reducing the number and severity of injuries to employees. The calculated OSHA recordable injury rate at US Magnesium is less than half of the average rate for industries in the same category. Upper management takes direct interest in and counsels with employees and front line management involved in every significant safety incident. Additional examples include Inteva and Unarco, where workplace accidents and lost time injuries have decreased dramatically since The Renco Group purchased these companies. At Inteva, the company offers training programs, conducts regular audits and operate with complete functional integration in the safety process, making their record one of the best in the industry. As a result, since 2007 Inteva's recordable rate has decreased 50%, and is 41% better than the national average. At Unarco, annual employee hearing and health screenings maintain company focus on plant noise and air quality and have been common practice since the company joined the National Safety Council while collaboration with safety personnel and constant inspection and monitoring has led to new ideas in plant development and safer work practices.
Many of our companies' operations also use safety incentive programs with great effectiveness, rewarding employees for being extra-attentive to even the most minuscule safety detail.
SAFETY TRAINING. While training requirements vary by industry, every employee involved in our companies' mining, metals and manufacturing operations receives extensive initial training and on-the-job re-training with respect to his or her particular job function. Safety is a critical part of the work culture at Doe Run Peru. Since being acquired in 1997, the accident frequency rate has fallen by 50% at the La Oroya smelter and 88% at the Cobriza mine. Fifteen sectors of the La Oroya facilities and the Cobriza mine have each compiled more than 2.7 million (Cobriza: 505 days) and 9.9 million (La Oroya: 510 days) man-hours without a lost time accident. As a result the government of Peru has awarded the La Oroya operations the National Mining Safety Prize for their exemplary safety record multiple times since 1998.
EMPLOYEE MONITORING. Because of the nature of our businesses, our companies' employees often handle or work in the presence of potentially hazardous materials. In addition to providing our companies' employees with the proper training and proactive gear, our companies regularly monitor their levels of exposure to potentially hazardous substances and take active steps to reduce their exposure.
As an example, The Doe Run Company monitors the level of the lead in employees' blood on a regular basis. When lab results show a rise in an employee's blood lead level, that employee is either removed briefly from service or transferred to a low or no-lead work area. Thanks to this careful monitoring, the typical Doe Run employee has an average blood lead level nearly 50% lower than federal guidelines mandate.
COMMUNICATION. Our operating companies recognize the crucial role that communications play in any situation and they strive to keep employees informed of critical safety issues and provide them with the tools and knowledge they need in order to work safely. With a view toward reaching their goals of zero lost-time accidents and injuries, many of our operations display up-to-the-minute safety statistics on bulletin boards, computer monitors or scrolling information displays located in common work areas. These efforts are completed by the work of the joint labor-management safety committees and valuable input from all workers on health and safety-related issues. In our view, this open dialogue and the teamwork and sense of pride it fosters is one of our most powerful tools when it comes to protecting people who ensure our companies' continued success.
EMERGENCY RESPONSE. Our companies also have emergency response plans in place in case of an unexpected and possibly dangerous situation. As a precautionary measure, most mining companies maintain mine rescue teams to serve as emergency responders. Doe Run maintains two teams, which are recognized among the most skilled in the nation. At Doe Run, more than 17 team members train eight hours monthly using the most current technology and methods available. In 2010, Doe Run's mine rescue teams captured the highest mine rescue honors in the nation - as well as the company's best finish in its 35-year national mine rescue contest history.