Health, Safety and Environment

Health

We believe safety and health are indivisible. Protecting, promoting, and enhancing the health and wellbeing of our people is as vital as protecting their safety.

Managing Occupational Health
We comply with the Rio Tinto Group wide occupational health standards and Mongolian occupational health regulations to improve identification and management of health risks.

Rio Tinto performance standards are integrated with our HSE management systems to ensure consistent application across our operation.

Managing Occupational Illnesses
Our approach in managing occupational illnesses is focused on taking proactive measures and implementing strong occupational surveillance programs coupled with controls to minimise occurrences of illnesses that may develop as a result of conditions and exposures in our workplaces.

This is demonstrated through:

  • Understanding and assessing employee’s workplace exposure hazards
  • Identifying individuals and work tasks with highest occupational illness risks
  • Implementing occupational hygiene surveillance programs such as monitoring of occupation dust, noise, vibration, manual handling, and other exposures
  • Using surveillance data as foundation for implementing best prevention and mitigation strategies

These control procedures may include the substitution of harmful or toxic materials with less dangerous ones, changing of work processes to minimise work exposure, installation of exhaust ventilation systems, good housekeeping, and the provision of proper personal protective equipment.

Health Awareness and Wellbeing Programmes
We strongly believe that health awareness provides a foundation for our employees to live a healthy life – making sure that they do not get sick and are able to live an optimal lifestyle.

In collaboration with our health service provider International SOS, we conduct awareness programmes and run campaigns addressing health risks such as mental health, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and infectious diseases. These programmes are developed reflecting public health risks in Mongolia and results of our studies of Oyu Tolgoi population.

Some health and wellbeing initiatives are:

  • Coordinating health improvement programmes with food services and seasonal wellness campaigns
  • Reducing oil and salt in kitchen meals and introducing a colour-coded labelling system that provides information on nutritional values
  • The Health passport wellness campaign, which is a three-step process reviewed every month for four months, including:
    • Medical assessment with results entered into a health "passport", and any risks explained
    • Optional referral to a nutritionist
    • Access to personal trainers helping with weight modification goals

These initiatives greatly increase knowledge of health issues at Oyu Tolgoi. Many individuals with hypertension and diabetes have been identified and provided with help. Health topics share the spotlight in the monthly HSE themes, and healthy meal choices are a clear staple on site.

Medical Preparedness and Response
Due to the remoteness of our site, it is important for Oyu Tolgoi to ensure our employees and contractors have access to timely emergency medical services.

Oyu Tolgoi maintains an onsite medical clinic facility that is managed by International SOS. The clinic provides a range of services:

  • 24/7 ambulance services
  • Internationally trained expatriate and local doctors
  • Fully equipped emergency room with resuscitation and monitoring areas
  • Adherence to Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) standards
  • In house diagnostics
  • Medical evacuation service

We also have a dedicated Emergency Response Team that is trained to deal with a range of emergency situations.

Caring for the Health of Our Local Communities
As a part of our commitment to supporting our local communities, we have implemented programmes such as our Community Health Safety and Security Programme.

Learn more about our approach to community health in our Community Health Programme section.