Health & Safety
Mercer Peace River celebrates its safety performance; enhances mill safety procedures
November 27, 2023 By P&PC Staff
Mercer International shared in a recent press statement that Mercer Peace River pulp mill, located in Peace River, Alberta, celebrated its excellent safety performance in recent months. In the last 18 months, the mill has reportedly taken a journey to enhance its focus on health and safety, and the results have been successful.
The MPR team has reportedly maintained a Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) below 2 for all of 2023. In early 2022, MPR’s rolling TRIR hovered around 7. This accomplishment is a reflection of the mill’s commitment to safety shared by MPR team members.
The Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) is a measure of occupational health and safety based on the number of safety incidents reported. That number is weighted against the number of workers injured and the number of hours worked.
MPR’s rolling TRIR is currently sitting at 1.25 TRIR, shares the company. Although this is a low number considering the size of the MPR facility, the mill remains committed to the continuous improvement of its health and safety program. Its goal is ZERO HARM to team members and to ensure that everyone on the work site goes home safely at the end of every shift.
With the rollout of MPR’s new Mission Zero safety program, the team consciously chose to add more “antecedents” to increase and improve safe behaviours. As part of this change, the mill reportedly moved its focus from lagging indicators to leading indicators. A lagging indicator for Mission Zero would be the measurement of its safety program. In this case, the TRIR is a lagging indicator: an important indicator for management stewardship but for front-line workers, it is too late to influence the outcome. The team member has already been injured. Leading indicators for Mission Zero would include the behaviours needed to improve our TRIR. In this case, the leading indicators would be increased safety flashes, safety recognitions, FLRAs, Safe Work Plans, Worksite Inspections, Safe Work/Hot Work Permits, Morning Toolbox Talks and team member/leader interactions. Mercer notes that if the mill wants to create an environment where everyone goes home safely every shift, then it needs to put more emphasis on setting workers up for success to avoid serious injuries. The best way to measure how safe the the workers are is not by the “absence of injuries,” but rather the “presence of the controls” meant to avoid serious injury.
By bringing its focus to the leading indicators to benefit everyone’s safety, a number of changes were made including new safety meeting templates that encourage safety recognitions and enhanced conversations about safety, ambitious safety Key Performance Indicators like achieving a TRIR <2, and more clearly defining roles in the Roles and Responsibilities Standard. All of these leading indicators have made safety more visible throughout the workday.
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