Freeport-McMoRan Continuously Improves Health and Safety Performance

Dec 5, 2019 8:10 AM ET
Jeffrey Thompsen, Chief Chemist-Tucson (left) works with Joyce Fahy, Quality Systems Analyst, Health and Safety-Phoenix during a safety audit of a laboratory at the Technology Center Tucson.

Freeport-McMoRan’s highest priority is the health and safety of their employees and their families and has the objective of zero workplace fatalities, injuries and occupational illnesses.

The company is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace and the training, tools and resources needed to identify risks and consistently apply effective controls. The company shares information about potential fatal events, near misses and best practices and engages with industry peers for continuous improvement.

Freeport-McMoRan’s Health and Safety system improvements in 2018 include:

•Streamlined health and safety policies and process documents across the organization for clarity and focused applicability in the field, including the Contractor Health and Safety manual which was updated to clarify company expectations.

• Developed a Management of Change Policy and Guidance to apply to potential changes in the workplace that can result in unplanned adverse impacts on processes, systems and/or people. The MOC requires the proper level of review of the proposed change by multi-disciplined personnel with appropriate skill sets. The purpose includes avoiding consequences of unforeseen safety hazards and ensuring changes are communicated to all applicable personnel.

• Began a review to improve its Root Cause Analysis process to provide confidence the right questions are being asked to “drill down” far enough to gather underlying causes of events, including what behavioral factors lead to conscious breaches of safety policies and procedures. This project includes an assessment of the leadership qualities and capacity necessary to effectively conduct robust RCAs.

• Initiated a global executive review of Potential Fatal Events.  As soon as possible after a PFE occurs, over 50 global operational and corporate leaders convene to review and understand the findings as well as share ideas for future preventive measures. This creates a better understanding of the event for communication across the organization.

• Conducted external expert evaluation of the weekly activities of its Health and Safety professionals to review opportunities to reduce administrative tasks that could impede safe production leadership efforts in the field.

• The OSHAS 18001 standard is being replaced by the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 45001. Planning for the transition to ISO 45001 began during the year with full company-wide conversion expected by 2021.

To learn more about Freeport-McMoRan’s philosophy of safe production and the integration of health and safety practices in all aspects of its operational activities, see

Please see the 2018 Working Toward Sustainable Development Report for more information on all of their social, economic and environmental efforts.