Video Case Study: Thompson Creek Mining Company

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This video is about Thompson Creek Mine's safety journey. After its success with BST's BAPP® and SafeAlign® technologies, the mine's management saw an opportunity to coordinate leadership goals through safety improvement. Aligning all leaders around safety meant taking safety to the next level and redefining leadership along the way.

To read more about Thompson Creek’s safety efforts visit their blog.

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Situation - The Thompson Creek Metal Company (TCMC), headquartered in Denver, Colorado, is a North American diversified mining organization. With mines and facilities in the United States and Canada, TCMC’s assets include substantial proven and probable reserves of molybdenum, copper, and gold.

After success with BST’s BAPP® and SafeAlign® technologies, TCMC management saw an opportunity to coordinate leadership goals through safety improvement. Aligning all leaders around safety meant taking safety to the next level and redefining leadership along the way.

Solution - TCMC management had the idea of creating a “Leadership Academy”—a safety leadership training curriculum designed to certify participates as safety leaders and develop “competent and consistent leadership performance in accordance with TCMC values.” The goal is to certify everyone in the organization who is seen as a leader, even personnel who aren’t in positions of authority but might potentially move into a leadership role in the future.

TCMC formed a Leadership Action Team (LAT) made up of senior, mid-level, and frontline leaders as well as BAPP facilitators and committee members to design the workshops and tailor the curriculum to individuals’ specific roles and needs. In addition, LAT manages overall process implementation, allocates resources, evaluates individual progress and skills, and presents visible management support.

First implemented in July 2013, the Leadership Academy consists of 18 workshops over the course of a single year. Workshops are usually half-day seminars attended by a handful of leaders at a time. Keeping the class size to a minimum proved to be an inspired decision. Unable to disappear into the crowd, leaders are drawn into the training and fully commit to the process. Conversations stimulate meaningful learning that is directly applied to concrete job situations. All classroom learning is reinforced by on-the-job, individual coaching.

Developing strong leadership skills meant that the BAPP effort had an advanced-level of support. For example, supervisors gained understanding of the key elements of safety and developed strong leadership capabilities that infused a safety mindset into the workforce simply through the course of their daily activities. This mindset translated into identifiable behavioral changes in employees on the shop floor.

It was important to create safety action plans for leaders that pinpointed the right actions for safety contacts and other best practices. BAPP facilitators in the LAT were particularly instrumental in going beyond abstract “leader speak” and defining clear behaviors leaders needed to use on site. The Leadership Academy is a true collaborative effort that unites the entire organization behind safety.

All leaders are required to participate in the Leadership Academy development process. Those who opt out are evaluated to determine if they can continue to occupy their leadership position. Every year, graduates are required to maintain their certification through a number of authorized activities, such as: mentoring, teaching workshops, or performing leadership observation.

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