Refreshing AngloGold Ashanti’s Major Hazard Management Process
AngloGold Ashanti’s Major Hazard Control Standards form a critical part of the AngloGold Ashanti Safety Framework and support our risk management process.
The standards present leading practice control requirements aimed at eliminating or minimising the likelihood of an occupational fatality or high severity incident within the context of a specific activity or risk area. But with 18 major hazards and close to 180 critical controls, how we manage and monitor these issues isn’t always easy to understand.
To drive greater awareness and understanding of these topics, and to address the high number of repeat high potential incidents (HPIs), AngloGold Ashanti undertook a major hazard management refresh process in 2022. This entailed:
- A global benchmarking exercise to understand how our peers in the industry are dealing with the topic and to identify leading practice
- A technical review of the existing suite of major hazards and associated critical controls, which reduced the number of major hazards from 18 to 10 and the associated critical controls to 65
- Developing awareness and communication material for every major hazard, including illustrated critical control booklets, key message posters, toolbox talks, as well as other marketing and awareness documents
- Creating short video clips on each of the topics to aid awareness, with all documentation and media made available in English, Portuguese, Spanish and French and published in the major hazard management portal on our intranet
The refreshed content was launched in two phases, with each phase communicating five major hazards each. Sessions were held virtually to address all senior leadership teams and ensure full line ownership.
At the launch, CEO Alberto Calderon said, “Safety starts with doing everything in our power to make sure our colleagues go back home safely each day.
“If 100% of employees recognise these 10 major hazards 100% percent of the time, and we have the critical controls clearly defined and understood, we will progress our journey to zero harm.”
Following the sessions with senior leadership, major hazards were communicated individually to allow time for the operations to review the content and adapt it to their local engagement processes. At the same time, an enhanced critical control monitoring process was designed, focusing on the supervisory critical control verification process. Systemic verifications will be rolled out in 2023, facilitated within our Integrated Sustainability Management System (iSIMS). Operational verifications, performed by the supervisors, are facilitated in iSIMS within the inspection module, and can be performed either on desktop or through the mobile app. Operators use existing continuous risk assessment systems with the added introduction of the Stop Card, which list the critical controls that are required to be in place.
“We want the system to be fit for purpose and pragmatic,” says AngloGold Ashanti Chief Technology Officer Marcelo Godoy. “This is not just a numbers game; we want critical control verification to be embedded into the process, so it becomes part of our daily routines.”
George Coetzee, VP Group Safety, adds that it is encouraging to see how the refresh has been embraced across the Company. “The key focus for this year is to ensure that supervisors at our operations conduct in-field critical control verifications, while our managers focus on capacity building and understanding the requirements of the system,” he says. “Major hazard management is about saving lives. Through rapid risk reduction, we aim to eliminate high consequence, low frequency events.”