EGA’s Al Taweelah alumina refinery construction project passes 20 million hours work without a Lost Time Injury

Achievement is equivalent to one person working in construction for over 7,000 years without an accident leading to time off work

United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has passed 20 million hours work on its Al Taweelah alumina refinery construction project without a single Lost Time Injury.

This is the equivalent of one person working in construction for more than 7,000 years without an accident that leads to time off work.

Al Taweelah alumina refinery, located next to EGA’s Al Taweelah aluminium smelter in Abu Dhabi, is one of the largest industrial construction sites in the UAE, with more than 11,000 people working on site. The alumina refinery is the first to be built in the UAE. Alumina is the feedstock for aluminium smelters.

Abdulla Kalban, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of EGA, said: “Safety is the first priority of everyone at EGA, regardless of their position in the organisation. This safety record is the result of intense effort throughout the alumina refinery project team, and I commend them. We must maintain this focus on safety until construction is complete, and continue it throughout the decades of Al Taweelah alumina refinery’s operation.”

At the core of Al Taweelah alumina refinery’s safety programme are more than 280 safety professionals, managing systems and processes to keep workers safe.

People working on the project have received nearly 100,000 hours of specialist safety training so far, with nine different courses for each individual to complete.

An important focus has been tackling language barriers on a site where the cosmopolitan workforce speaks 44 different languages. Training is conducted in multiple languages, and risk assessments and other key safety documents are largely pictorial rather than using words.

Each team starts every shift with a toolbox talk highlighting safety requirements. Over 230,000 toolbox talks have taken place on the project to date.

Workers are encouraged to report anything they perceive could be a safety hazard so it can be investigated and action taken to prevent any incident happening. So far over 36,000 reports have been made and action taken.

The project safety team selects high-performing individuals to act as trained work observers, praising good safety performance and correcting any risky behaviours. Data from these observations, over 95,000 to date, is collated to share improvement opportunities with the entire workforce.

EGA also rewards workers financially for choosing safe behaviours at work, with the rewards increasing in value as more are earned.

First alumina from Al Taweelah alumina refinery, which has a total budgeted project cost of approximately $3.3 billion, is expected during the first half of 2019.

Once full ramp up is achieved, Al Taweelah alumina refinery is expected to produce 2 million tonnes of alumina per year, meeting 40 per cent of EGA’s alumina requirements and helping to secure the competitive supply of the feedstock for aluminium smelters.