Iceland Prime Contractor demonstrates exemplary workplace safety at Helguvík
Iceland Prime Contractor has achieved excellent results in health, safety, and environmental matters in the construction of the pot rooms for the Helguvík aluminium smelter. Ground was broken on the new aluminium smelter on 7 June. IPC employees have contributed a total of 50,000 hours, or 25 worker-years, on the project without any accidents requiring absence. An accident requiring absence is defined as an accident causing an employee to miss work on the following day.
Iceland Prime Contractor has placed rich emphasis on health, safety, and environmental matters in its operations, and its workplace accident rate is lower than the average in the Icelandic construction industry. The Company’s success at Helguvík outstrips its usual low average accident rate, however, due to a concerted joint effort by all IPC managers involved in the Helguvík project. In addition, the customer, Nordurál, placed very strong emphasis on health, safety, and environmental affairs during the contract negotiation process, and employees working on the project have supported the effort.
At the outset, IPC managers set clear guidelines for employees, so that all were aware that health, safety, and environmental standards would be even higher than usual for this project. This message is communicated to all workers at training meetings held by IPC and the customer for all new employees before they begin work on the project. A special safety representative from IPC is responsible for follow-up, education and training, and reporting.
The main changes in emphasis between the Helguvík project and previous jobs carried out by the Company lie in the use of “Start-cards” and enhanced risk analysis. Each morning, before work begins, all employees divide up into predefined groups of 4-20 persons, review the work on schedule for the day, and discuss the chief risks involved. The results of the discussions are then recorded on the Start-cards, and the risk analysis sheet for the job is examined and reviewed.