Health, safety and environment

Health, safety and environment


Initiatives such as workplace risk analyses, detection programmes and nursing care have been in place at RTFT since the 1950s. Health and industrial hygiene have always been a priority for the company, which pioneered practices that took a long time to become established in Quebec’s industry.

Today, RTFT teams of health and industrial hygiene specialists work together toward a common goal: protecting employees’ health. Our annual action plans emphasise information, training, process and equipment upgrades, and medical monitoring. We give priority to preserving hearing, controlling carbon monoxide exposure, encouraging respiratory health and promoting overall health.


Though RTFT ranks among the safest Quebec companies in its industry and has recorded a significant decrease in workplace accidents in recent years, it maintains an ultimate goal to eliminate all accidents, whether involving RTFT employees or partner companies.

Objective: zero accidents

Health and safety are more than a priority. They should be a value for each of our employees. To reach this goal, RTFT invests in prevention and regularly holds safety awareness and training sessions. Problem-solving teams play an active role in implementing solutions adapted to their work area. More recently, the focus has been on reinforcing safe behaviour. Studies show that risky behaviour causes almost 90  per cent of on-the-job accidents.

Our “Leadership in action” initiative is adaily activity to promotes high vigilance and direct intervention in the workplace. It is our preferred approach for preventing accidents.

Zero injury by choice

This means consciously opting for safe behaviour rather than relying on luck.
It is part of the Site Safety Acceleration Programme (SSAP), the cornerstone of RTFT's current prevention strategy.

 Rio Tinto, Fer et Titane, safety and environment policy

Engagement Strategy : bringing a human dimension to safety

For a number of years, communication regarding safety has often been focused on results. Safety is more than statistics. It should be an integral par of each and every one of us, our daily lives, both personal and professional. 

It was with this in mind that we developed a new approach that would focus more on the human side of safety. Our overall strategy is based on the participation of everyone, including families and children. The approach was developed with a team of management and unionised employees. The safety consultation committee's mandate is to ensure that safety is addressed in a positive way with the ultimate goal being to engage employees around a common target : Zero harm by chose. 


Rio Tinto Fer et Titane, has long been actively committed to protecting the environment and the quality of life in neighbouring communities. In the 1970s, RTFT implemented an extensive air purification programme and during the 1980s, we upgraded dust-collecting systems so that residues could be reused or recycled. During the 1990s, we focused on reducing releases to water at the source and built a wastewater treatment plant. RTFT was awarded the "Mérite environnemental 1995" prize from Quebec's ministry of the environment for its wastewater treatment programme and for its role in protecting the St. Lawrence River.

RTFT continues to invest in projects aimed primarily at improving environmental performance, while improving management practices. Over the years, more than $200 million has been invested in environmental protection programmes. In 2013 and 2014, another $100 million was added to this amount, with most of this money going towards a new SO2 Recovery Plant and air purification equipment.

Environmental policy

We recognise that our long-term success depends on linking the environment with our strategy. Our environmental policy affirms the importance of operating our metallurgical and mining installations in Sorel-Tracy and Havre-Saint-Pierre in accordance with sustainable development principles.