Like many businesses, mining is an industry that involves an inherent amount of risk. As some of that can be significant – and cause people harm – it’s imperative that steps are taken to manage potential on-site hazards. Providing a safe and healthy workplace is Anglo American’s first priority and we have a variety of systems, processes and controls in place to help us achieve this.

Rene Aguilar, Group Head of Safety, Anglo American explains the importance of considering human factors when producing your health and safety processes. behaviours and attitudes required.


needed to address those. As part of this we can also identify weak or absent controls so that these can be immediately improved and ensure that our health and safety measures are as effective as possible.

Identifying the critical safety risks that are specific to our business and the controls needed to prevent those from causing incidents or reduce their consequences, should they happen, is a key priority for safety improvement.

Industries such as mining don’t focus only on systems and technological innovations, but also the employee behaviour, attitude and motivation needed to create a strong safety culture. Although these sorts of changes take time, our aim is to positively change employee attitudes and behaviours one-by-one. Through taking such a holistic approach, companies can practice better safety, and we believe at Anglo American that we can sooner achieve our ambition of zero harm.

To accomplish this, we have a comprehensive ‘Learning From Incidents’ (LFI) process, which is used to rigorously investigate incidents that occur at our sites. As a result of these investigations, we are able to determine the root causes of why they happened and the measures


As well as thinking about the control system that the company has in place, it’s also essential to consider culture and behaviour. For workers to carry out tasks safely, it’s important that they understand their personal role in creating a safe work environment , which is why we invest significantly in analysing and addressing the ‘human factor’ in all safety incidents.



A measure recently implemented at Anglo American is the psychological- based technique called Human Factor Analysis (HFA). HFA is one of several tools that helps us to identify the lessons we must learn from incidents. HFA’s contribution is to examine the human, behavioural and cultural factors that each play a role in an accident. Once these factors have been highlighted, they can be used to inform the creation of appropriate actions and strategies for preventing future incidents. In this way we are able to see not just what technical or procedural changes are needed to improve control use but also the

When using HFA, the first step is to identify the factors that led to, or contributed to an accident. There are three different levels involved in this: workplace, organisational and personal. “Workplace” examines the broader context in which the accident occurred, the task itself and the level of engagement. “Organisational” focuses on the corporate imperatives, decision making processes and links with leadership, revealing the role that the organisational culture played. “Personal” provides a clearer picture of what was going on at the time for the people who were directly involved in the accident. At this stage, aspects such as an individual’s health, capability, fitness, and situational awareness, as well as team-related elements such as leadership, cohesion, dynamics, process and diversity are all taken into account.

Once an HFA investigation has been concluded, appropriate recommendations and changes can be made to ensure the right risk management processes and controls are in place. These also inform the broader safety strategy and procedures of our business – from group level to mine management. This helps us to move forward towards realising our vision of ‘zero harm’, which lies at the heart of our approach to both health and safety and guides everything that we do.

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