Mining operations presents health and safety risks, particularly for those working in underground mines. Protecting the health and safety of our workforce is a key commitment. Our primary objective is to achieve Zero Harm.
Zero Harm means we are redoubling our safety efforts. Preventing fatal accidents is our highest priority, and the safety of our people will remain our core focus until we achieve a zero-incident rate. Every incident is subject to an in-depth investigation and analysis, so that we understand the causes and can prevent a recurrence.
We continue to invest our efforts in improving our overall safety performance. Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate increased in 2019 to 1.67 from 0.94 in 2018.
Our objective is Zero Harm for our employees and contractors.
LTIFR is the number of incidents per million hours worked
1.67 LTIFR in 2019
Ensuring Health and Safety
Our Health and Safety Policy is based on the following principles:
- The safety of our employees, contractors, visitors and members of local communities is of paramount importance to us
- Our management is directly responsible for preventing incidents and injuries
- Preventing incidents and injuries also improves operational performance and is therefore beneficial to everyone
- Risk management is fundamental to safety management
- Every employee, especially our supervisors, is responsible not only for observing safety rules, but also for stopping any unsafe actions of other people they might witness
- Business objectives shall not contradict our safety expectations
- No work can be undertaken if safety could be compromised
Nordgold’s 'More than Gold’ Safety Rules' were adopted in 2012 with the aim of reducing the number of fatalities and significantly improving operational safety at our mines. The Company continues to pursue the integration of safety methodologies and the sharing of best practices between its mines, as well as directly investing in the safety of its employees through regular audits, trainings and control. Nordgold ‘More than Gold’ Safety Rules was introduced as a condition of employment and must be followed at all times.
The ‘More than Gold’ Safety Rules continue to apply to everybody: employees, contractors, service suppliers and visitors. If compliance with the ‘More than Gold’ Safety Rules is not possible for any reason and at any time, everybody is required to stop performing the task in hand and to immediately inform their supervisors or management.
Managing health and safety
The Company observes local legislation requirements in all of its operating regions, as well as best practice in the broader field of health and safety (H&S). Our H&S management system is also part of our overall Nordgold Business System (BSN). A number of internal policies, such as the Health and Safety Policy, the More Than Gold Safety Rules, OHSAS 18001:2007, standards, methodologies, and safety procedures provide the basis of our H&S management system.
We have established an extensive health, safety, and risk-management system, in order to:
Understand the risks
Implement risk mitigation processes and technologies
Learn from incidents
Encourage appropriate behaviour
We care about the health of our employees. Where possible, health insurance policies are provided to employees at Nordgold's expense.
Health risks specific to African operations, such as malaria and other infectious diseases, are monitored to ensure all is done to mitigate them. Comprehensive programmes aimed to control these risks are in place at our sites in affected countries.