In keeping with its stated commitment to “Zero Harm to People and the Environment”, Dubai Aluminium Company Limited (“DUBAL”) achieved a major safety milestone on 28 May 2009. The date marked the completion of 10.3 million man-hours’ and 399 days’ operation without a lost time injury (“LTI”) by regular employees at DUBAL’s Jebel Ali primary aluminium smelter. The milestone approximated 15.4 million man-hours when the safety performance of contractors’ employees engaged for project work on the site, over the same time period, is factored in.
Clearly delighted at his company’s performance record, DUBAL’s President & CEO, Abdulla J M Kalban, says, “From the outset, DUBAL has paid special attention to safeguarding the health and the safety of our employees, while protecting the environment in and around our operations. Our corporate philosophy is that everybody is responsible for safety and this most recent milestone reflects the success with which this philosophy is entrenched in our organisation.”
Kalban adds that DUBAL’s overall safety goal is the ideal state of zero LTIs. The company’s performance continues to improve year-on-year, as reflected in the 24 per cent year-on-year reduction in the total recordable injury frequency rate (“TRIFR”, comprising lost time injuries, restricted work and medical treatments) achieved in 2008; and the 85 per cent reduction in the lost time injury frequency rate (“LTIFR”) recorded over the four years to the end of 2008. “Overall, DUBAL has achieved a 96 per cent drop in LTIs since 1997, of which we are extremely proud,” says Kalban.
He is quick to point out, however, that these safety performance milestones are merely markers in an ongoing, continuous improvement journey: they are not a destination in themselves. “There is never room for complacency,” says Kalban. “Instead, we continually emphasize the importance of appropriate behaviour in the workplace, this being the cornerstone of a culture where safety of oneself and others is kept foremost in one’s thinking and actions; and therefore a culture in which in-depth understanding of the potential consequences of unsafe behaviour acts as a natural deterrent to negligence and reckless behaviour.”