Painting the turbine hall at the Ekibastuz Power Station

Our approach

Copper mining and processing are inherently hazardous activities, and we recognise the need to continually improve our health 
and safety performance. The Group currently operates four underground mines and two open-pit mines, plus associated concentrators and one major growth project under construction - Aktogay. In future, approximately 80% of our production will come from open-pit mines and modern processing plants, which is expected to improve the health and safety risk profile of our operations.

To address our health, safety and environmental (‘HSE’) responsibilities we have continued to strengthen the Group HSE function during 2015. Our aim is to embed the required culture within our organisation to maintain performance in the long term.

We regularly review our HSE reporting processes and seek to make improvements where possible. From 2015 KAZ Minerals has adopted in full the occupational injury and disease classification definitions published in January 2014 by the ICMM to report its safety and health performance on a comparable basis to those of its major global mining peers. The Group has also conducted a roll out of EMEX, a health and safety reporting tool, to streamline and improve the collection of data across its operations.

KAZ Minerals safety programme is focused on developing the leadership skills required to drive a safe and efficient working environment for our employees and contractors by emphasising four key areas: right tools, right people, right work environment and right procedures.

Central to this framework is a solid management system and strong leadership. We believe that determined leadership on safety from all levels of management 
will help improve behavioural patterns amongst the workforce, where awareness and understanding of health and safety risks continues to present a major challenge.

Training and communication

A safety culture relies on employees being aware of safe working practices and having the skills to apply them.

Under regulatory requirements in Kazakhstan, each employee involved in hazardous activities is required to undergo 10 hours of annual safety training, and those in supervisory roles must complete 40 hours. In addition to this, we provide our workforce with training and inductions on internal safety standards and procedures. At Bozshakol, this includes an intensive three month induction programme for every new employee with safety built in throughout.

Contractor safety

All of our operations use contractors for a variety of works, including shaft sinking, structural repairs and maintenance, transportation, and, most significantly, in the construction of 
our major growth projects. We expect contractors to apply 
safety standards in line with KAZ Minerals’ internal policies, but management of their performance can be challenging due to the short duration of much of the contracted work. Nonetheless, 
we include safety performance requirements in all contracts, 
actively monitor compliance and reserve the right to terminate 
the relationship in case of repeated or severe violations.

In the case of longer-term cooperation we provide supplementary training inductions and communications around safety, with the 
aim of improving contractor safety at our sites. We investigate 
and draw lessons from all contractor fatalities and serious incidents.

Occupational health

Risks to workers’ health such as those from noise, vibration, temperature, lighting and radiation are assessed carefully. Employees working in an environment that puts them at greater risk of dust-induced lung disease, hand-arm vibration syndrome or circulatory disorders are monitored more closely. All employees involved in production have a medical examination when they join the company and then on an annual basis to prevent occupational diseases and to diagnose and treat any problems as soon as they occur.

Image of two employees working near a pipe