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BSL awarded highest Rio Tinto safety achievement

May 29, 2017

Boyne Smelters Limited (BSL) was recognised today as the winner of the coveted 2016 Rio Tinto Chief Executive Safety Award.  In a ceremony held today for employees, Perth-based Rio Tinto Group Executive Health Safety Environment and Managing Director Australia, Joanne Farrell, presented the prestigious trophy to BSL General Manager Joe Rea at site.


Rather than one particular initiative, BSL’s overarching safety strategy was recognised for a sustained year-on-year safety performance improvement, an enduring focus on safety despite difficult market conditions, and a ‘one team’ safety culture.


When personally advising BSL of the win earlier this year, Rio Tinto Chief Executive Jean-Sebastien Jacques said: “While the review team made a number of observations, my personal view is that BSL has clear ownership of safety by the operational line and strong in-field leadership behaviour.”


“I strongly believe our people and our frontline leaders must maintain chronic unease about safety. And we see the results of this vigilance and caution at BSL.  It is clear that BSL is a standout site in Rio Tinto.  BSL has successfully developed a positive, collegiate culture which enables the site to perform very well and deliver in both safety and high productivity."


BSL’s Joe Rea firmly believes the site’s outstanding safety performance is down to a concerted effort to improve employee engagement. His proudest moment in his 40-year career with Rio Tinto, he said, was leading the site to reach their best ever safety result in the smelter’s 32-year history in 2014—achieving more than two million hours recordable injury free (equating to 364 days without a single injury requiring treatment) which is seldom seen in a heavy industrial environment.


“I feel our people have never been more proud to come to work. Generations of families have been employed at the smelter and their contributions to BSL in adding value to Australian natural resources, helping make us a truly great Australian story,” Joe said.


“I could not be more proud of all those that have worked tirelessly to advance safety at BSL.”


The annual, global Chief Executive Safety Awards program recognises the sites and teams that have shown sustained excellent safety performance, leadership, engagement, systems and processes, and that manage critical risks and learn effectively.