Health and Safety

The high risk nature of the metal mining and resource industry makes occupational health and safety a material concern to the Group and we work continuously to reduce the total number of accidents. We pursue this by adherence to our standards, promoting safe practices and the promotion of a positive safety culture on the shop floor. 

Our approach

Health and safety management is a material issue for Vedanta and a systematic approach is essential to ensure consistency across the business. Our absolute focus is to eliminate fatalities and major injuries. To achieve this, we are committed to using internationally recognised standards on health and safety to create a zero harm environment for our employees. Our approach to safety is tailored according to the challenges posed by the operations linked to extraction and processing of resources, and the geographies in which they are situated. For example, fleet management and working at height are major risks for our operations above ground, whereas rock falls are a challenge for underground operations. Our approach to the occupational health of our workforce is structured within four areas: prevention, monitoring, support and recovery - tailored to each operating environment.

Health and Safety risk mitigation

To manage health and safety risks, a clear process is required to identify hazards and to manage these appropriately. As our operations evolve, our risk mitigation also evolves to reflect these changes. Our Sustainability Development report includes the most current approach we take to managing risk in our operations.

All our subsidiaries run on-site training that is appropriate to that site’s operations and contextual needs, such as the linguistic and literacy skills of employees and contractors in that area. Videos and infographics are used across our sites to create and reinforce safety messages. We take the same approach when managing the health of employees. For example, our operations in Africa have tailored programmes on HIV/AIDS, whereas some of our Indian sites focus more on malaria prevention. The table below outlines our key sector risks and our specific mitigation responses.

Health and Safety management

Several review mechanisms and initiatives are in place at the Group, subsidiary business and site levels to manage health and safety issues:

Group level

  • Monthly safety meetings are led by the Group Head of Occupational Health & Safety to discuss performance across the Group, and share experiences and learning to facilitate development of processes and systems.
  • Safety alerts related to fatal, high potential incidents and major loss time incidents are issued to all Chief Executive Officers, Chief Operating Officers, Key Operational and health, safety and environment (HSE) personnel on every fatal and major incident, and also shared across the Group. This outlines the root causes of the accident and the action plans needed to avoid similar incidents.
  • Guidance notes on identified safety risks are released to ensure the effective implementation of safety practices across the Group.
  • Fatal Investigation is being led by the group safety team.

Business and site level

  • Each individual business conducts monthly operational and business management reviews, which include the assessment of occupational health and safety performance of the units, as well as guiding the effective implementation of safety practices.
  • The Management Safety Leadership programme carried out by our subsidiaries ensures senior management visibility through conducting periodic workplace audits.
  • The business-led Health and Safety Committee, which includes representatives of employees, contract workforce and unionised workers, as appropriate. The total workforce varies significantly depending on the operations and generally specified in collective contractual agreements. These committees meet on a regular basis to advise on occupational health and safety.
  • Safety requirements are communicated through periodic safety meetings with contractor workers, suppliers and vendors.
  • At site-level, periodic safety training is conducted to enhance and improve knowledge among employees and contractors.

See our Sustainable Development report for our health and safety performance information, including details of our process safety initiatives to mitigate health and safety risks across our subsidiary businesses.