On a Journey to World-Class Safety

Nov 29, 2021 - Insights

While 2020 was a year of challenges, it was also a year to be inspired by the resiliency and dedication of the human spirit. We saw it first-hand at Tronox as our employees embraced new safety and hygiene protocols in response to COVID-19 and focused on improving work processes to achieve safe outcomes.

“We have always prioritized safety, but the pandemic created an environment where we needed to enhance communications and put even greater emphasis on improving work processes that are critical to achieving safe outcomes for all of our employees. This new way of operating has now become part of the normal way of doing business. That, coupled with our new strategy, will guide us on our journey to inspiring world-class safety and sustainability.”

Dylan Audeyev, VP – Global Safety, Health, Environment and Quality

In 2020, Tronox updated its global Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) strategy to ensure we are living up to our first core value of safe, reliable, and responsible operations. The new SHE strategy moves beyond compliance to a more proactive model. It encourages everyone to drive changes to our processes and plants to improve how we approach our work and become a more resilient organization.

Tronox partnered with external experts in evidence-based safety management and organizational change. As part of the process, we audited current safety approaches with more than 120 interviews of employees at all levels across Australia, Brazil, China, France, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States. Then, teams across the organization worked together to build local improvement strategies. The result is a global SHE strategy that aligns everyone around a path forward and gives opportunities to make it regionally relevant and impactful to our operations, which will deliver safety, operational excellence and sustainability.

The SHE strategy centers around better understanding how we work:

  • Applying an outward mindset, being curious about everyday work and exploring areas where there is uncertainty and risk.
  • Appreciating what goes well and sharing learning between peers and sites.
  • Understanding the various factors (e.g., fatigue) that influence decision-making.
  • Understanding that we are human, and mistakes are normal.
  • Demonstrating an appreciation for the complexity of work, how risk is perceived and managed differently.

From there, we will build our capacity for working safer by:

  • Investing in our people, plants and processes to achieve world-class safety.
  • Ensuring all functions understand their contributions to safe work outcomes and collaborating with our teams so they can be successful.
  • Providing systems that help guide successful work in the presence of hazards.
  • Understanding how what we know, say and do affects our ability to be aware of our surroundings.
  • Effectively onboarding our contractors and partnering with them to improve the planning and execution of work.
  • By making these changes in our SHE strategy, we will see:
  • More time available for conversations among supervisors and employees in the field.
  • Incident investigations that focus on learning why things go wrong.
  • De-cluttered work processes so people can focus on what is critical.
  • Greater organizational learning.
  • Fewer repeat events and reduced risk.

Putting a New Strategy into Operation

Each site has identified its top three initiatives to implement in 2021 as part of the SHE strategy. Examples already underway include peer-to-peer supervisor workshops; establishing Learning Teams to understand work; minimizing exposure to risk through wearables and increased automation through newTRON; investments in equipment upgrades and operator skills training; and enhancing our partnerships with contractors.

We believe our new SHE strategy will shape our Tronox culture to where safety is so embedded in everything we do that safety is simply the outcome of work done well.

We are proud to say that 2020 was the safest year on record for Tronox with our lowest total recordable incident rate for employees and contractors.

Download our full sustainability report here.

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