Sustainable safety

A safe workplace is essential to the continued success of our business. Our goal is to ensure every employee, contractor and visitor returns home healthy and injury free.

'Safety is a value, work is our priority'. This is the Dampier Salt safety statement. Priorities can and do change, but values are a constant.

We work to manage the risk of safety incidents by understanding those risks and driving a culture where safety is a core value. It is not just about the systems, the procedures or even people's behaviours. Although these are all important, it is a focus on building a sustainable safety culture across the business where every person looks after their own safety and the safety of others.

Dampier Salt takes a two pronged approach to safety leadership. Traditional leaders, those in management positions across the company, hold accountability for ensuring their teams think and act safely. But in addition to this, a sustainable health and safety team, spread throughout the business at all levels, also plays a key role. These 'unofficial leaders' are employees that are respected by their peers, who are listened to and are able to assist in building an improved safety culture from the ground up.

The H&S sustainable team, comprising a number of people across each site, has a simple but powerful charter:

The team will introduce and embed active caring throughout all aspects of the business.

I will:

    • Identify, review and implement opportunities
    • Lead by example using demonstrative behaviours
    • Be open and honest
    • Encourage participation of others
    • Make a difference every day in the way we live
    • Discuss the un-discussable's

Approach to health and safety

We believe that identifying, understanding and mitigating the safety risks associated with our operations is essential for continual safety improvement and reaching our goal of zero injuries.

Vehicle safety is important in our business. Our employees are locally based and commute to work in cars and on buses. Once at work heavy vehicles and light vehicles are used extensively. Mobile equipment guidelines have recently been implemented which include a 50 metre exclusion rule. No moving piece of mobile equipment is permitted to be within 50 metres of another piece of moving mobile equipment, except for specific circumstances such as salt being loaded on to trucks from a front end loader. Clear safety guidelines exist where the exclusion zone does not apply.

Contractors' safety is as important as the safety of employees. We are currently focused on improving our approach to contractor management. Our contractor management process has recently been reviewed and changes made to develop a consistent approach that will ensure the highest standards of contractor management across the business.


Dampier Salt adheres to a set of minimum safety standards set down by the Rio Tinto Group. In addition to the requirement for a comprehensive safety management system, the following Rio Tinto Iron Ore "Ironsafe" and Rio Tinto safety standards apply to Dampier Salt:

  • Isolations
  • Electrical safety 
  • Vehicles and driving
  • Working at heights
  • Confined spaces
  • Cranes and lifting equipment

The implementation of the standards is checked through a rigorous audit process.

Risk Management

Dampier Salt has a number of risk management tools to control hazards across the business. These tools range from Take 5s, Job safety analysis, hazard assessment to Semi Quantative Risk Assessments. These tools enable employees and the business to identify the risks and hazards then put controls in place to manage or eliminate the risks or hazards using the hierarchy of controls.

How I made a difference today

The Dampier Salt Employees at each site wake up to a daily challenge - how will I make a difference today?

'Make a difference today' is a health and safety initiative that challenges people at Dampier Salt to look beyond their day-to-day role and responsibilities and think about how they can take an extra step to make the workplace safer.

Each idea that has made a real difference shared with other members of there team in case there is a wider opportunity to implement the change.

Chief Executive's Award for Safety

In 2008 the Lake MacLeod operation received the Chief Executives Safety Award for most improved site across Rio Tinto globally.