Monitoring Workforce Exposure
Doe Run's approach to employee health and safety includes continual training and protective standards that surpass industry expectations.
Doe Run closely monitors blood-lead levels for its workforce as part of its safety commitment. Blood-lead levels are the trace amount of lead the body absorbs through a variety of exposures, including occupational exposure. Lead manufacturing and mining companies industrywide introduced voluntary targets in 2013 to reduce workforce blood-lead levels for all employees to below 30 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL) by the end of 2016.
Doe Run has taken an even more protective approach to employee health with standards that are more stringent than government requirements. The company proactively monitors employees’ blood-lead levels on a monthly basis if they exceed 19 μg/dL at the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division or 15 μg/dL at the Metals Division. Doe Run counsels employees who cross a certain threshold to identify particular areas of exposure, and work on individualized plans to address those areas. Employees who exceed 30 μg/dL (20 points less than the Occupational Health and Safety Administration standard) are temporarily reassigned to a job area with reduced exposure. Monthly reports are shared all the way up through the executive level in order to ensure proper resources are available to reduce exposures.
Doe Run employees are trained in proper lead handling and personal hygiene processes to reduce their exposure to trace amounts of lead. Personal protective equipment, like respirators, are worn in areas of exposure, and employees who work in certain areas are required to wash thoroughly and change clothes and shoes before eating or going home each day. These measures have helped Doe Run continue to decrease average blood-lead levels companywide to 11.02 μg/dL in 2015 and the number of employees who recorded a blood-lead level of greater than 19 µg/dL also declined from 223 to 188.
Health and Safety Starts with Employees
Doe Run and our employees have built a culture where co-workers watch out for one another, and are committed to training and programs that foster workplace safety.
Doe Run utilizes CORESafety as a
framework for its safety system.
CORESafety is an industrywide set of
processes and tools which assists in identifying safety improvement
opportunities and involves employees in developing solutions and plans to
- Doe Run conducted a companywide assessment in each of 20 areas, and determined the company would focus primarily on these categories: collaborating and communication, risk management, change management, assurance, and management systems coordination.
- The Doe Run Safety team introduced a new process to foster stronger two-way communication about safety issues and potential improvements.
- One program already in place to address this is Job Safety Analysis (JSA), which encourages employees to evaluate jobs before they begin to identify the safest tools and correct methods to proceed. Then, employees document that information for coworkers and future employees.
The mine rescue teams also complete eight additional hours of training monthly and participate annually in mine rescue competitions to keep their critical safety response skills sharp.
National Acclaim for Employee Health and Safety Programs
Our employees’ commitment to health and safety has earned Doe Run facilities national recognition.
- Most recently, Fabricated Products Inc., a Doe Run subsidiary that manufactures lead-based products, earned the Perfect Safety Award from the National Safety Council for achieving 16 years of no lost-time accidents.
- Doe Run’s mining operations have received the National Mining Association’s prestigious Sentinels of Safety Award 27 times since 1971 for excellence in mining safety.
- Doe Run employees also lead two mine rescue teams that have earned numerous honors, including two national championship titles. The teams undergo monthly training and compete in mine rescue competitions to keep skills sharp in case they need to aid employees during a real mine emergency. See a full list of the teams’ mine rescue accolades here.