Continuous Improvement
Employees’ Commitment To Making Tomorrow Better Than Today Drives Achievement Across The Company, From 1.5 Million Safe Hours At Fabricated Products Inc. To A Third ISO Certification For A Mine And Mill Facility In The Southeast Missouri Mining And Milling Division.

Continuous Improvement

Employees’ commitment to making tomorrow better than today drives achievement across the company, from 1.5 million safe hours at Fabricated Products Inc. to a third ISO certification for a mine and mill facility in the Southeast Missouri Mining and Milling Division.

Certifications and Achievements

Doe Run’s success depends on achieving high standards for its operations and safety. Certifications and awards are measures of the company’s progress.

Third Mine and Mill Earns ISO Certification

Brushy Creek Mine and Mill ISO Certification Brushy Creek Mine and Mill completed ISO 14001:2004 certification for environmental management.

Brushy Creek Mine and Mill ISO Certification
Brushy Creek Mine and Mill completed ISO 14001:2004 certification for environmental management.

In 2015, a third Doe Run mine and mill operation – Brushy Creek Mine and Mill – completed its ISO 14001:2004 certification for environmental management. Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the ISO 14001:2004 certification helps companies set operational goals and maintain an environmental management system.

“Continuous improvement is a way of life when it comes to environmental stewardship,” said Samantha Anderson, environmental programs manager at Doe Run. “Completing the ISO certification process helps the company develop a framework to analyze the environmental challenges we face, and then identify areas where we can implement consistent practices across our operations, and fine-tune processes that may be specific to an individual mine or mill.”

Brushy Creek Mine and Mill achieved ISO certification over a six-month period, which included a rigorous on-site assessment from a third-party ISO registrar to refine the site’s procedures and enhance environmental performance.

During the ISO certification process, Doe Run audited the efficiency and potential environmental impact of current operations at Brushy Creek Mine and Mill. Then, the team developed a management system to reduce environmental impact and set specific targets and timelines for improvement.

  • Increase materials recycling by 5 percent.
  • Reduce hazardous waste by 5 percent.
  • Construct a water treatment plant, which was completed in 2014. Read more about Doe Run’s water management.
  • Complete an HVAC geothermal heating project for the site. Read more about this new energy-efficient system.

“Third-party auditing of our progress is one of the most valuable features of ISO,” said Anderson. “Quarterly auditing by an internal team and an annual audit conducted by a third party helps us track our progress against the ISO 14001 standard. Outside auditors assist us by looking at our programs with a fresh perspective and sharing information on the latest industry trends.”

At Brushy Creek Mine and Mill, internal teams identified several solutions to everyday operational obstacles as part of the ISO auditing process. For example, the underground crew noted that traditional sticker labels for containers sometimes disintegrated in the damp environment, which could create confusion about what is stored inside. Employees researched alternative methods to label containers underground, ultimately moving to durable, color-coded zip ties that could withstand the environment.

“Changing the label system was a simple solution, and it makes a big difference in how we work,” said Anderson.

The experience that the environmental and mine operation teams gained during the previous ISO certification audits at the company’s Sweetwater Mine and Mill and Fletcher Mine and Mill made for a more efficient certification process at Brushy Creek Mine and Mill. The team’s knowledge ultimately reduced the process by several months.

In 2016, Doe Run’s Buick Mine and Mill will be implementing some of the environmental management best practices developed at the other facilities to prepare for the ISO certification process in 2017. Casteel Mine and No. 29 Mine will also undergo ISO certification in 2017.

“Pursuing certifications like ISO help us in our goal to meet our commitment to remain good stewards of the resources we share with our stakeholders and communities of interest,” said Anderson.

Doe Run’s Resource Recycling facility has held an ISO 14001:2004 certification since 2003. Additionally, Herculaneum, Resource Recycling and Fabricated Products Inc.’s (FPI) Vancouver, Washington, facilities maintain ISO 9001:2008 certification for quality management systems.

Mine Rescue Achievements

Maintaining a safe workplace requires a team effort, and Doe Run reinforces safety and emergency preparedness through regular employee training. In 2015, Doe Run employees completed 16,687 safety-related training hours. The mine rescue teams also complete eight additional hours of training monthly and participate annually in mine rescue competitions to keep their critical safety response skills sharp.

In July 2015, Doe Run’s Maroon mine rescue team earned the overall champion title at the Northern Regional Mine Rescue Contest. The event tested 10 mine rescue teams’ abilities to handle emergency situations underground.

Other 2015 accomplishments of the mine rescue teams include:

  • The Maroon Team won best in state at the Missouri Mine Rescue Association Contest held in Rolla, Missouri.
  • The Gray Team finished in third place in the team technical competition at the Southeast Regional Mine Rescue Contest in Maysville, Kentucky.
  • At the same competition in Kentucky, the Gray Team’s captain, Wayne Marlin, earned first place in the written team trainer test.

While mine rescue contests are competitive events, participants value each team’s commitment to safety above all else. In 2015, Doe Run’s Denny Dickerson was inducted into the Missouri Mine Rescue Hall of Fame for his many years of service as a skilled mine rescuer. He was nominated by another mine rescue team Doe Run regularly faces in competition.

FPI Reached 1.5 Million Safe Hours

Doe Run’s dedication to safety extends to its manufacturing operations. FPI, which manufactures lead-based products, achieved 1.5 million hours without a lost time accident in 2015. This achievement represents more than 16 years of safe work at FPI’s Casa Grande, Arizona, facility and 10 years of safe work at its facility in Vancouver, Washington. This achievement demonstrates how each team plays a critical role in fulfilling Doe Run’s commitment to safety. Read more about Doe Run’s employee safety programs.

National Communication Recognition

Doe Run received an APEX Award for Publication Excellence from The Business Communications Report for its 2014 sustainability report website. The award is based on excellence in graphic design, editorial content and overall communications effectiveness. This is the fourth time Doe Run has earned APEX recognition for its annual sustainability report.