New Delhi, August 11, 2017: The benefits of entrenching a safety culture in the workplace were shared among Indian businesses today at a workshop hosted by Rio Tinto. More than 30 Rio Tinto suppliers and partners drawn from the goods and services sectors across India attended the event in Delhi to underscore the importance of Collaborating to Enhance Safety Culture. With safety being a core value of Rio Tinto, the event was aimed at sharing knowledge and industry best practices and provided an opportunity to discuss current issues on safety among suppliers and partners in India.
Rio Tinto India, Managing Director, S. Vijay Iyer said, “At Rio Tinto, safety is at the heart of everything we do. We greatly value our relationship with suppliers in India and expect them to play a critical role in our future growth. A joint dialogue on safety culture is a natural extension of our commitment to a safety performance as per which everyone returns home safe and healthy from work, every day. Three focus areas of our safety strategy remain vital: no fatalities, minimal injuries and no catastrophic events. In everything we do, we must check that it's safe to start work, keep a look out for warning signs of danger, speak up if something isn’t safe, and always ask what else we can do to make the workplace and our colleagues safe.”
The inaugural safety-focused workshop with suppliers reiterated Rio Tinto’s focus on safety and commitment to promoting a safe and healthy workplace. During the workshop, experts spoke on diverse aspects of building a safety culture. In the spirit of a collaborative dialogue, Rio Tinto’s partners and suppliers shared their own experiences and insights: DuPont shared ideas and learnings on ‘safe practices during manufacturing’ while others added their thoughts during an invigorating panel discussion. Participants in the panel discussion on the ‘Safety Culture in India’ were Sandvik, Cyient, DuPont and ERM. Noting the increased understanding of safety and its significance among businesses in India, the panelists pointed out the slow yet certain shift in the industry towards a philosophy of 'designing for safety', as opposed to safety being considered as one of the peripheral requisites. While discussing ways to address the foremost challenge of enforcement, the panel emphasized on the need to effectively demonstrate the value of safety in enhancing business performance to employees and partners. The need for empowering frontline workforce so that they can give safety concerns primacy, as much as they pursue production targets, also emerged as a key consideration. In the panel's interaction with partners from the industry present at the forum, the suppliers echoed the sentiment that while India is a market with evolved laws and directives, collaborative efforts such as this workshop that encourages voluntary adherence to best practices is a template for the future wherein a culture of safety is firmly ingrained.
The panel discussion was preceded by a presentation on the role of standards in the global value chain and Indian manufacturing’s the export potential. To mark this day, all participants of the workshop were awarded certificates from Rio Tinto.
Greg Courts, Leader Emerging Markets, Rio Tinto Procurement, said, “Safety is just plain good business. It is well known that business leaders who embrace a culture of safety within their organizations will generate greater returns for their shareholders. Rio Tinto is committed to working with its suppliers to assist them on their safety journey and this safety forum is one example of raising awareness as well as highlighting the process and tools that are available to improve and build a sustaining safety culture.”
Attendees included supplier organizations and experts on industrial safety spanning diverse sectors such as Electrical, Material handling equipment, processing equipment, Raw material, Casting / Foundry suppliers in Mining sector, as well some from the services sector including BEML, CBRE, Elecon, KPMG, Larsen & Toubro, Mahle and Tata group companies.
Rio Tinto procures goods and services from India to supply to its operations worldwide, and considers the Indian portion of its global supply chain a key strategic component. In fact, procurement from India has emerged as a dominant pillar of the company’s strategic engagement with India. Rio Tinto conducts supplier and partner events from time to time to strengthen relationships and build joint capabilities.