Our people

Our people

Our people are the most important aspect of our business.

We need a safe, healthy and engaged workforce to expand and sustain our operations, and to contribute positively to local host communities.

We want to be a preferred employer. We invest in our people throughout their careers, offering diverse and inclusive employment prospects, development opportunities and competitive benefits clearly linked to performance.

Our stakeholders pay particular attention to our safety record, our progress towards our inclusion and diversity goals and how we are achieving local employment requirements particularly in developing countries.

Our people Our people

Safety: our priority number one

We want to create an environment which is fatality-free, and where everyone goes home safely after every day and every shift.

Our approach to safety focuses on three core areas: fatality elimination, injury reduction, and catastrophic risk prevention including process safety. We maintain strong safety systems, standards and tools, and verify that critical controls are in place. We foster a culture that stops work if it is not safe.

Critical risk management is crucial to achieving our fatality prevention goal. It is a dedicated fatality prevention programme for all jobs with a fatality risk. At all our managed projects and operational sites every person must check that critical controls are in place and working effectively before the job can begin.


all injury frequency rate*

*per 200,000 hours worked

Chief executive J-S Jacques describes Rio Tinto's safety culture

The aim of our fatality prevention programme, critical risk management, is to have every employee, before they begin every task, ask: 'What could kill me today, while I’m doing this task? What’s in place to stop that happening? And is what is in place working?'

Joanne Farrell, Group executive, Health, Safety & Environment

We are working alongside technology providers using new and proven tools to monitor fatigue

A healthy workforce

We aim to eliminate occupational illness and to create workplaces that protect health and promote wellbeing. Guided by our health standards, our global health professionals identify potential trends, emerging health issues and key occupational health risks, and apply controls.

Our health strategy focuses on occupational illness, managing health risk, wellness and mental health, and controlling vector-borne and infectious diseases.

Prevention is essential to our approach. Our health programme helps us manage material health risks by verifying that critical controls are reducing employees’ and contractors’ exposure to potentially harmful substances, physical energies and vector-borne diseases such as malaria. We consider the local factors affecting our workforce, such as type of resource, location and type of work, to ensure that effort is directed to the more important risks.

Fatigue is a critical risk and we are addressing both individual and organisational risk factors. We are also working alongside technology providers using new and proven tools to monitor fatigue in our heavy mobile equipment operators and to respond when fatigue is identified.

Capability and development

Diverse points of view help build better solutions.

Our people strategy guides how we attract, develop, engage and retain talented people. It is focused on fostering inclusion and diversity, offering exciting work and development opportunities, rewarding good performance and providing quality leadership at every level. Our approach is consistent with our code of conduct, The way we work, local laws and International Labour Organization standards.

We are focused on increasing the representation of women in our business, in addition to achieving a better balance of nationalities. Our aim is that our workforce is representative of the communities in which we operate, and that our leaders come from diverse backgrounds.

We help Indigenous people participate in the local economy through employment and learning programmes along with our local supplier and procurement programmes.


of our workforce are women

Diversity and inclusion are absolutely essential for Rio Tinto’s future…It’s ensuring you make the most of this broad group of people in order to find solutions to complicated problems.

Jean-Sébastien Jacques, chief executive

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2016 Sustainable
development report

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