Vale employee smiling in green landscape. She is wearing a green Vale
uniform, goggles, helmet and ear plugs. Visual wave artifact Vale

Putting life first.

This value underpins our leadership team’s commitments and efforts to enhance health and safety performance, in line with our Sustainability Policy andCode of Conduct

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Vale’s structured approach to health and safety is based on identifying and assessing risks and hazards, taking targeted proactive and mitigation action, and implementing initiatives and programs to foster a culture of safety. We continuously monitor emerging technologies that can enhance our ability to eliminate and minimize risks inherent in mining activities. 

The HSE and Operational Risk department is responsible for establishing policies and technical guidelines on safety and risk management. This department is independent and complementary to our geotechnical risk management team.  

Recognizing our responsibility for, and the importance of, maintaining high standards of operational safety, our executives’ short-term (bonuses) and long-term variable compensation is tied to performance against a set of health, safety and operational risk metrics. This helps to ensure high levels of senior leadership engagement around safety.  

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We also have emergency response policies and procedures aligned with the industry’s best practices and specific requirements. Applicable to all units, these requirements have been based on internationally recognized practices developed by organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Tools such as the Incident Command System (ICS) and the Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level (APELL) from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), for instance, have been utilized.

The new standard:  

  • Establishes common emergency response procedures across business units;
  • Outlines emergency response plans and procedures addressing plausible real-world scenarios;
  • Establishes minimum training requirements for all individuals with identified roles and responsibilities in emergency response procedures and plans;
  • Establishes training programs;
  • Sets aside funding for emergency response plans and procedures;
  • Tasks business units with developing and coordinating emergency response, crisis management and business continuity plans, working with local authorities and communities.

Management model 

Vale’s health, safety and risk management processes are integrated into the VPS (Vale Production System) Management Framework, a set of policies, principles, requirements and procedures for managing hazards and risks associated with mining operations and products.
The VPS Framework is aligned with the ISO 45001 series of standards on occupational health and safety management systems, and includes technical, managerial, and leadership requirements within the PDCA (Plan, Do, Check, Act) cycle.  
The framework is implemented as a mandatory requirement across Vale’s global operations and offices. 
 ¹ Technical: Common policies, guidelines and technical process requirements for managing assets and dealing with risks inherent in our business.
² Leadership: Set of leadership practices expected to reinforce key behaviors and shape organizational culture and discipline.
³ Management: Routines, methodologies and management tools structured to sustain and improve results.
The VPS framework supports our efforts to build and disseminate a culture of discipline, ensuring that all departments continuously track safety indicators, raise issues, align on priorities, and implement action to achieve desired outcomes. 
We periodically engage independent auditors to conduct internal audits against risk criteria established according to the nature of the activity and the level of maturity of the health and safety management system. 

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Our health and safety strategy is built upon three pillars: 

Our motto: all accidents are preventable 

Preventing injuries and chronic illnesses 

Mitigating risks of work-related injuries and chronic illnesses. 
Promoting employee well-being and mental health. 

Preventing fatalities 

Eliminating the root causes of work-related fatalities and disabling (life-changing) injuries. 

Preventing catastrophic accidents

(operational/process safety risks)
Preventing accidents with catastrophic impacts on human lives, communities, the environment, business continuity or our reputation. 
As one of our initiatives to prevent catastrophic incidents, we have begun monitoring process safety-related events (P Events) in line with our ambition to be the best and most trusted mining operator globally. P Events are events involving equipment or assets that generate, or could under slightly different conditions or circumstances generate, an unplanned or uncontrolled release of energy or hazardous material (loss of containment). 

Targets, Indicators and Performance 

Our health and safety data and indicators are kept up to date and communicated in reports such as our annually updated ESG Databook.
We also submit data on our safety performance to mining industry organizations, including annual submissions to the ICMM, of which we are a member, and quarterly submissions to IBRAM.  
Since 2020, we have achieved significant reductions in high-consequence (L2) injuries and have made continued progress toward our target of zero fatalities and life-changing injuries by 2025. 
2022 - The goal was to improve the management of critical controls identified during the HIRA by checking their availability

By 2025 – Achieve zero high-consequence recordable injuries 

Variable compensation linked to health and safety performance: performance against targets on health, safety and risk management is factored into variable compensation according to the following rules.
If a fatality occurs, the figures for the relevant operation are reduced to zero and no bonus is paid.

Safety Indicator

Reduction in the absolute number of critical or catastrophic recordable injuries (other than fatalities and life-changing injuries). 
Baseline  Target  Exceptional Performance 
The figures in the table describe the target for Vale, with each vice president allotted a share of that target. The Safety indicator applies to Lead-and Supervisor-level roles (excluding Staff-level roles) in Brazil and to all employees in other countries. 

Risk indicator  

Verification of critical controls identified during HIRA 
Baseline  Target  Exceptional Performance 
The Critical Control meets performance goals in ≥85% of cases 
The Critical Control meets performance goals in ≥90% of cases 
The Critical Control meets performance goals in ≥95% of cases 

Our Performance 

N1 – Fatal and life-changing injuries 
N2 – High-consequence recordable injuries 
N3 - First aid and other high-potential events 

Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)1 

1. Total number of lost-time injuries per million hours of exposure. Includes injuries involving employees and contractors working in controlled activities resulting in lost time. 

Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)1 

1. Total number of recordable injuries per million hours of exposure. Measures the total number of occupational injuries involving employees and contractors in controlled activities that result in fatalities, days away from work, restricted work or medical treatment (beyond first aid).