Qatalum Casthouse wins Hydro Primary Metal HSE Award

The award was a Casthouse line managed venture supported by HSE. Already chosen as the winning project in its category, at the internal QIP awards held in February, Hydro saw outstanding performance in the initiative.

Qatalum has been awarded the Hydro Primary Metal HSE Award. The HSE Award is awarded to a Primary Metal site that can demonstrate outstanding improvements in HSE performance and/or a site showing special achievements within the area of HSE. The winning team comprised of Sarel Greyling Head of HSE, Richard Appiah Casthouse Safety Delegate, Rajakumar Veetil Head of HSE and Rajkumar Walsalam, Designer of the gate.

From left to right: Rajkumar Walsalam - Designer of the gate, Richard Appiah - Casthouse Safety Delegate, Sarel Greyling -  Head of HSE and Rajakumar Veetil - Head of HSE
 Qatalum representatives receiving the award in Oslo

The criteria for awarding this price was based on:

  1. Plant with outstanding results and improvements in HSE performance according to Hydro Presidents HSE award criteria for 2013
  2. Plant with special achievements within the HSE area according to Hydro Presidents HSE award criteria for 2013

    A prerequisite for qualification for the award is that the nominated plant is in compliance with Hydro's HSE requirements and that there have been no major accident during the year. As of March 2014, Qatalum's TRIR has been 0.54. In comparison, it is the best figure amongst Hydro and Gulf smelters and stands at 12.5% of the rate published by the IAI for 2012.

    The winning initiative at the Casthouse stemmed from the vehicular danger to pedestrians in the Casthouse and therefore the requirement to segregate the two. The Casthouse started the year with a high TRIFR of 5.83 and made a strict commitment to reduce this.

    At Qatalum's two section Casthouse, there is an average 22,000 vehicle movements every month and including logisitics operations, this number is significantly higher. In relationship to this, each casthouse operations shift crew comprises approximately 35 employees, with the addition of maintenance and service activities, representing a significant potential for pedestrian/vehicle interaction. Thus, a great deal of studies were undertaken to throughly investigate the risk picture related to Casthouse operations and maintenance activities.

These activities resulted in a revised Traffic Management Plan, including revision of the Casthouse walkway pattern. Actions taken involved all walkways to be marked and painted, critical walkways were identified to have barricades installed.    
Installed gate at Casthouse                                   Barriers and Gates along the Walkways

A self closing gate was designed inhouse by calculating weight of the gate and the inertia. Product simulation was done using simulation software and detailed design was finalized for the gates to be manufactured and installed. Self closing maintenance free gates were developed and installed.

The resulting benchmark determining the succes of the initiative was measured by the reduced TRIFR of 2.85 against a BP of 3.

Interaction and knowledge sharing followed the initiative with other groups in Qatalum invited to do observations on pedestrian/vehicle segregation within the Casthouse. A HSE management leadership tour was done and COO was impressed and requested this be done site wide.

Currently more evaluation is planned for 2014 to have similiar gates and barriers installed in other areas for Phase 2. These improvements are sustainable as operating gates are maintenance free and self closing.

Areas for improvement for Phase 2

In the future the Casthouse will strive to achieve a TRIFR of 0 by end 2014. This can be done by commitment from all involved.