Safety & Health

Safety is integral to all Freeport-McMoRan operations and is the responsibility of all employees and managed by a formal structure starting with our Safety and Health Policy. Our philosophy of Safe Production is demonstrated by the integration of health and safety practices in all aspects of our operational activities. Our Board of Directors requires comprehensive audits to assure the safety management system is effective and resources are applied to achieve the company’s policy objectives.

Our Health and Safety Management System is a framework from which we manage risks and compliance obligations. As of November 2016, the system is certified at the corporate-level in accordance with the internationally recognized OHSAS 18001 standard. The process for attaining our corporate group certification in 2016 included internal audits at 17 operations with six operations receiving independent, third-party audits. Surveillance audits will continue to be conducted annually by the internal audit team and independent audits will be conducted at select operations on a rotating basis.

No distinction is drawn between contractors and our own employees with regard to health and safety performance and reporting. The Freeport-McMoRan Contractor Safety Manual defines the minimum expectations and requirements for contractors working at our operations. Site-specific health and safety training is conducted with each contractor and tailored to their work location, task-specific hazard identification and critical control implementation.

We measure progress toward achieving our objective against regularly established benchmarks, including measuring company-wide TRIR across our businesses. Our TRIR (including contractors) was 0.64 per 200,000 man-hours worked in 2016, exceeding (missing) our target of 0.56. We worked 153.1 million hours in 2016 compared to 200.5 million hours in the prior year, and we recorded a total of 492 reportable injuries in 2016 compared to 564 in 2015.

Occupational Health Freeport-McMoRan operations maintain comprehensive occupational health programs to assess the risk of exposure to occupational health hazards and identify controls for those risks, and we have expanded our corporate industrial hygiene team to provide better strategic guidance and support. Our Field Guide for Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene defines occupational exposure limits, standards and practices that apply globally.

Freeport-McMoRan continued the expansion of medical monitoring procedures in 2016, to ensure that employees are fit for duty, and to look for early indications of occupational health impairment and to provide opportunities for early intervention. We continued to expand our fatality prevention program to include exposures to carcinogens and other significant health hazards in addition to traditional safety hazards. This is expected to lead to a stronger focus on critical controls related to dust controls, ventilation systems, and chemical process monitoring.

There were 26 occupational illness cases reported at our operations in 2016. Heat stress continues to be the largest portion of these incidents (10 cases), but we experienced less than half of the number in 2015. Our efforts to prepare workers to anticipate and proactively manage the effects of heat exposure are assertive and ongoing. Hearing loss was the second highest number (6 cases). Respiratory conditions were the third category (5 cases), the lowest number since 2012; all five cases were minor, short-term cases.

2014 Safety Data



Lost Time Incident Rate (LTIR)

Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR)

Occupational Illness Rate (OIR)

Climax Molybdenum





TRIR = ((Fatalities + Lost Time Incidents + Restricted Duty Incidents + Medical Treatment)*200,000)/ Hours Worked
LTIR = ((Lost Time Incidents + Restricted Duty Incidents)*200,000)/ Hours Worked
OIR = (Occupational Illness Incidents * 200,000)/ Hours Worked

Award-Winning Health and Safety Initiatives

Climax Molybdenum Stowmarket Ferromolybdenum Plant in the United Kingdom is one of the world’s premier production and conversion facilities for ferromolybdenum. Climax Molybdenum Stowmarket has been awarded its fourth consecutive RoSPA Gold Achievement Award for excellence in safety performance, management systems and culture.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, or RoSPA, grants internationally recognized safety awards based on the organization’s individual occupational health and safety performance assessed against the RoSPA judging criteria.

RoSPA Awards are internationally recognized and promote the importance of occupational health and safety.

Climax Molybdenum Stowmarket Ferromolybdenum Plant won a Bronze Achievement Award in the Royal Society for Accident Prevention’s 2013 Occupational Health and Safety Awards (RoSPA) program. The award recognized Stowmarket for demonstrating the essential elements of health and safety management systems, implementing controls for risks, having no fatal or major injuries and maintaining a stable (or achieving a reduction) in the accident rate. The RoSPA Awards are the United Kingdom’s largest and longest running program of its kind. The non-competitive Achievement Award is based on an individual organization’s health and safety performance and success. Businesses and organizations of all types and sizes self-nominate by answering key performance questions and providing a portfolio of documentation. A panel of judges consisting of health and safety experts and consultants review each application against set criteria. To determine the level of Achievement Award – for example, Merit, Bronze, Silver or Gold – the judges take into consideration a range of performance indicators, including:

  • Level of development of health and safety management systems
  • Consistent application of risk control measures
  • Reductions in near misses, reportable injuries and days lost

Organizations with continuous improvement in their health and safety management systems year after year may become eligible for more advanced award categories with more rigorous criterion. In this way, organizations can demonstrate their health and safety successes at higher levels and throughout the years.

Climax Molybdenum Fort Madison Plant won the Incident Rate Excellence award in the Gold, or top category for outstanding achievement in accident prevention by Iowa-Illinois Safety Council during 2011. The award recognized the site for achieving an incident rate of less than 25 percent of the national average based on the most recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To qualify for the award, applicants had to demonstrate an incident rate equal to or lower than the national average for their industry. The incident rate is based on the number of recordable cases, or workplace injuries or illnesses resulting in a fatality, loss of consciousness, days away from work, days in work restriction or those that required medical treatment.

Fort Madison was one of more than 170 business, industries and government agencies in Illinois and Iowa to receive an award for promoting active safety programs and reducing injuries among their employees.

Our team is proud of their safety accomplishments but realizes the real focus of attention must be on the tasks at hand. We will make every effort to achieve and sustain zero incidents one minute at a time, one task at a time, one shift at a time, and one day at a time.