Review of IFA Approach for Safety Performance Benchmarking and how to Adopt Similar Approach within AFA Members
This paper would be presented on IFA report for safety benchmarking issued in year 2006. The paper will review IFA approach for the safety benchmarking and focus on the company’s experience in view of the LTI frequency rate. Introducing a new approach to help better judgment on the Company’s history is proposed as well.
Since 2001, IFA has collected data in order to benchmark safety statistics in the fertilizer industry. For each of the past four data years (2001 – 2004), IFA has conducted a survey of member companies and reported on Lost Time Injuries (LTI). The LTI measures work-related injuries that require an absence away from work beyond the day of the incident. In a majority of instances, the “24-hours” rule is used to calculate an LTI.
Lost Time Injury is commonly used as an indicator for the safety performance. Good and accurate reporting method is an important element in this process; otherwise, the outcome of the statistics could be misleading tool to management. Trends of LTI over the past years could tell you about the company history particularly in safety performance.
Having an LTI or not with one day-off the work could be a bad luck that will bring the safety record upside down and should start counting from scratch. Regardless of the efforts that a company will do to keep the safety record as clean as possible; an LTI may occur at any time. In order to have fair judgment on the company safety performance over the past years, an accumulated LTI frequency rate is proposed. This method will avoid hinting peaks in very odd year and make some sort of flattening of the trend curve and have better idea on the safety performance.
The Egyptian Fertilizers Company has adopted this approach even though four million man-working hours had been achieved free from lost time injuries. One of the reasons is that, as a new company, high LTI frequency rates were recorded at the early years. That was due the expected work injuries resulting form green hands employees while gaining the experience.
• For data year 2004, the global industry average LTIR calculated for regular employees is 5.00 (IFA and EFMA survey data combined) - down from the 2003 high mark of 6.98, and more consistent with findings in 2001 and 2002 (4.35 and 4.38 LTIR respectively).
• The 2004 data year gave an industry average LTIR for contract employees of 5.62.
This rate for contract workers has varied widely since the inception of IFA benchmarking in 2001, ranging from 0.79 to 9.62 - with no apparent correlation to the score for company employees.
• Reporting in 2004 data year was down to 59 participating companies from 81 companies in 2003, and 67 and 63 in 2002 and 2001 respectively. In all years, participation represents no more than a quarter of IFA’s main membership of fertilizer producing companies.
• Along with analysis from previous surveys, we can broadly conclude that the LTIR average is highest in the potash sector, which may indicate higher inherent risk in potash production as well as potential margin for improvement on a global scale.
• Although this fourth year of data collection strengthens the statistical validity of the industry average, the inconsistent and shifting sample of participating companies does not yet allow IFA to assign a significant level of confidence to the calculated benchmark.
• The IFA safety benchmarking exercise is an ongoing process. Additional data will need to be gathered – perhaps over the next two years – before we can achieve a confidence level sufficient for reliable LTIR comparisons by fertilizer companies on a year-toyear basis, among companies operating in the fertilizer industry, or with similar statistics from other industries.
• IFA continues its efforts to encourage participation. During the last reporting cycle, the Secretariat provided background information on the importance of workplace safety, streamlined the LTIR calculation process, and produced marketing materials promoting safety in the fertilizer industry. IFA will further its cooperation with EFMA during the survey process, by coordinating reporting cycles so as to avoid redundant efforts.
• Although, industrial sectors differ significantly in terms of exposure to safety risks and implementation of safety practice, the LTIR can be useful for gauging performance relative to other industries. For example, LTIR measured in 1999 for the oil & gas industry was 5.0 and 12.0 for the broader chemical industry. Thus, the fertilizer industry has a good record of performance relative to other similar industrial sectors - and as such, IFA will actively communicate this performance to relevant stakeholders and policy makers.