Sandvik’s Mining & Rock Technology division evolves from manual spreadsheet-based processes to a fully-integrated EHS solution with SAI360 to drive cultural change, earning them the 2018 Verdantix Innovator Award.
Case study at-a-glance
Sandvik’s Mining & Rock Technology (SMRT) operates in an industry where risk management is vital. In 2006, Sandvik began utilizing spreadsheets to gather and evaluate Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) information, monitor performance and comply with reporting requirements.
Over time, the number of its spreadsheets exploded. SMRT had 76 interlinked files with over one million calculations. From these spreadsheets, the company would parse data and report different metrics to various groups around the globe.
The manual process not only put the security of its data at risk, but it was also time-consuming and limited. By 2007, SMRT had exhausted the viability of using spreadsheets. In addition, the company recognized the need to begin utilizing the information qualitatively to drive cultural changes for more effective risk management.
That same year, SMRT reviewed software providers to identify a flexible, configurable solution and selected SAI360’s EHS solution. It first rolled out the solution in Australia in 2008, then globally in 2010. The database, together with the company’s increasing focus on leading indicators and a more holistic view of the information, inspired positive culture change that reduced its Total Recordable Injury rate over ten years from 19.6 to 4.0 in 2018.
“The spreadsheets were about numbers. But it’s not just about what gets measured; it’s what gets talked about that changes things.”
Global EHS Vice President, Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology
With over 43,000 employees across the globe, Sandvik, including Sandvik’s Mining & Rock Technology, is a leading supplier of equipment and tools as well as service and support for the mining industry in a range of applications, including quarrying, recycling, demolition, tunneling, civil engineering, and dimensional stone.
The Mining & Rock Technology division encompasses eight product areas: crushing and screening, load and haul, mechanical cutting, parts and services, rock tools, rock drills and technologies, surface drilling and exploration, and underground drilling.
Sandvik Innovates with Culture-Changing EHS Reporting
In 2006, SMRT had initiated spreadsheet reporting to capture and communicate EHS data. Over time, SMRT’s reporting needs became more complex than its 76 interlinked spreadsheets could provide, requiring a robust solution that could keep pace.
SMRT’s EHS ambition is to continually improve both its EHS culture and management systems to, in turn, improve performance results. Historically, it had been difficult to target areas or issues requiring improvement due to a lack of current, consolidated EHS data.
SMRT understood it needed to leverage its reporting to not only track results but also enable a broader, more holistic view of the data to ensure greater accountability, support strong decision making, and identify key areas requiring improvement and investment.
To maintain its market-leading position, SMRT sought a solution provider that would enable it to measurably change behavior by reporting both quantitative and qualitative data. With this approach, it aimed to turn data into knowledge to elevate the importance of EHS across the organization, create and embed a safety-aware culture and encourage staff to take individual ownership of EHS.
“Improving EHS culture across a diverse organization with significant differences in EHS maturity is a challenging task, but we knew with the right tool, we could transform EHS data into meaningful metrics that employees understand and relate to.”
Global EHS Data Manager, SMRT
With SAI360’s EHS solution, SMRT accomplished what it set out to do: significantly improve worker safety and incident management by optimizing the system to change the culture.
In fact, in its last employee survey, 88% of employees rated the EHS culture as strong or very strong. That’s because, in the ten years since SMRT introduced the solution, its Total Recordable Injury rate has dropped from 19.6 to 4.0 in 2018 and the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate now sits below 1.0.
But that’s not all. With greater transparency and a shared understanding of the value of EHS performance, the culture is different, and employees are taking individual ownership and accountability.
Moreover, since leveraging SAI360 EHS to produce the League Tables, the company has realized other changes as well:
- Hazard close-out rates have improved from 59% to a consistent 98%, while the number of hazards identified — thanks to a dramatically improved safety culture — increased by 200% during the same period.
- The annual site-based EHS plan completion rate is now almost 93% for all sites. Before, they were not completed in time or were done at the end of the year.
- In just 10 months, the average number of days it takes to complete a Supervisor Assessment of the Future Risk Potential of an incident has dropped 38%, and the average days it takes to complete Investigation Findings has also dropped by nearly 60%; these are two of the factors that make up the ‘process’ that is measured as one of the league tables factors.
- The company improved its rate of compliance with corporate standards, such as EHS leadership, planning, legal obligations and hazard and impact management, from 40% three years ago to an average of 80% for all major sites today.
“While our core use of the EHS Manager 360 – incident and hazard reporting – has changed very little from the off-the-shelf version, we have been able to push the boundaries of the system for our specific purposes to take it to another level. Our ability to customize the system as we’ve changed is a testament to the solution’s flexibility and SAI360’s great foresight and knowledge in the field of EHS.”
Global EHS Data Manager, SMRT
Read this follow-up case study by Global Business Research (GBR): Cultural Change Through Technology Innovations. Sandvik Mining and Rock Solutions (SMR) opted to go with SAI360’s EHS platform and has achieved what it aims to do: significantly improve its EHS performance by simultaneously improving both the management systems and the EHS culture.