NRSPP - Rio Tinto's Critical Control Verification Program

The Safety Loop – CRM Program, Bow Ties and Preventing Fatalities And Serious Injuries

How a linked CRM-bow tie approach can prevent fatalities and serious injuries

In 2018 the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP) published a case study featuring the outcomes and successes of Rio Tinto’s implementation of a layered critical control verification program.

Key excerpts from the case study:

  • More than 1.4 million critical control verifications were done in 2017 across Rio Tinto’s global network
  • At Rio Tinto, control verification includes daily physical checks in the field by 6,500 frontline operational leaders
  • Before a job goes ahead, operators verify that the critical control is in place by answering a series of yes/no questions, on a task-by-task basis
  • Supervisors also verify those critical controls are in place, on a shift-by-shift basis
  • Managers or superintendents routinely verify the design and implementation of the controls
  • This ‘cascade effect’ reinforces a strong safety culture and expectations within the organization
  • Checks are recorded in a centralized global database, highlighting any non-compliances so any potential weak areas are identified and can be rectified
  • The level of safety awareness and of critical controls at the frontline has significantly improved as has the targeted focus on measures needed to prevent fatalities and serious injuries

For individuals or organizations looking to implement a robust CRM program, see Rio Tinto’s “Seven Critical Control Program Tips” on the case study’s last page.