CSR Abroad – Health and Safety

Health and safety at the mine site is an important issue for mining companies. Mining and exploration operations can create a variety of hazards for workers such as exposure to dangerous materials or unsafe working conditions. Using CSR practices, companies can manage these hazards, reduce the potential for accidents, and work towards a safe and healthy workplace. Below are some examples of how Canadian mining and exploration companies have implemented CSR practices in health and safety:

Responses by Company

Agnico Eagle Mines Limited

We apply the Supervision Formula with Work Card at all our sites. We have a prevention program at each site. We have an industrial hygiene program at each site.

American Potash Corp.

The company has contractors and a contractor manager that have assumed a role and responsibility for health and safety.

Angkor Gold Corp.

The company introduced the industry's first First-Aid CPR course, with safety regulations and procedures. The company sets an example in each vehicle, including using seat belts, First-Aid Kits, and safety equipment. HSE (Health, Safety, Environment) workshops are continued in the rainy season for all staff and surrounding stakeholders.

AuRico Gold Inc.

AuRico’s integrated Corporate Sustainability Management System Framework (SMS) provides a consistent approach to sustainability management at its operations, and a performance standard for managing Health and Safety, Environment, and Corporate Social Responsibility. This system is based on OHSAS 18001 Occupational Health and Safety Management System.

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Each site has completed risk assessments and developed numerous procedures to assist with safe operation.  There is health and safety oversight through the Management and Board, Technical and Sustainability Committees.  In 2013, the company initiated the Home Safe, Every Day safety leadership program which was rolled out across the entire organization to well over 1100 people. Each site has developed their own pre-task assessment which allows for personnel to review their work for hazards prior to starting the task.

Banro Corporation

Banro is committed to creating a safe work environment for its employees and contractors throughout its varied operations. The greatest long-term challenge to safety is in mining operations, where Banro is working hard to provide employees and contractors with a workplace free of uncontrolled hazards. This involves identifying potential risks to the health and safety of employees, contractors and the public and then either eliminating such risks or controlling them at levels as low as reasonably achievable.

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This work is being undertaken in a very challenging environment, with difficult terrain and where the majority of employees, contractors, suppliers and other stakeholders were unfamiliar in the past with industrial safety concepts. Consequently, the management team devotes considerable effort to the compilation and implementation of an effective occupational health and safety policy with supporting programs and procedures. All employees, contractors, suppliers, stakeholders and visitors are systematically taken through safety awareness training and induction. This awareness training includes, but is not limited to, a brief induction for visitors, suppliers and stakeholders and an intense induction for Banro employees and long term contractors. Additional training is given to employees when they are assigned to their respective departments.

Barrick Gold Corp.

Barrick is committed to achieving a zero-incident work environment with a safety culture based on teamwork and safety leadership. The company’s Safety and Health Policy states that nothing is more important to Barrick than the safety, health and well-being of workers and their families. The company has implemented key safety programs and activities, including systems and policies, training for all employees, special training for emergency response teams, performance measurement, risk assessment processes, recognition programs for safety achievement, and a steady flow of information that keeps people focused on continuous safety improvement.

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Barrick’s approach is outlined in the Barrick Safety and Health Management System, which identifies nine elements for building a safe workplace and creating a strong safety culture. In 2014, we continued a 10 year trend in reducing our total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate. 

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Brazil Resources Inc.

Health and safety is addressed via the training of our employees and subsequent inspections.

Cameco Corporation

In addition to our corporate Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Policy, which states our commitment to prevention of injury and ill health, there is a corporate Health and Safety Management Program which outlines all the corporate requirements for ensuring the health and safety of our workforce.  Specifically related to radiation safety, there is a corporate Radiation Protection Program which describes the requirements for radiological protection at our operations.

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Under both of these programs are standards, procedures and work instructions providing additional details and specific instructions for performing higher risk activities or more technical aspects of the programs.  The individual operations use these documents, along with regulations and license requirements to develop site level programs and procedures to proactively manage risks and keep workers safe. 

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Candente Copper Corp.

A health and Safety Manager is always on site. Introductions and safety meetings are held regularly and in conjunction with an often rotated local work force. Simple safety equipment such as boots, hard hats, and vests are provided as local labour does not have these.

Goldcorp Inc.

Goldcorp’s management sets the company-wide direction for safety and health, through a series of policies, standards, guidelines and frameworks. Each operation develops its own approach, within the company’s overall vision and framework, for coaching, training, workshops and program development, to ensure a successful, sustainable implementation with the necessary cultural and site-specific nuances.

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In 2013, the new Golden Rules and Golden Guide were used to communicate our expectations for sustained improvement in our safety and health performance.

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Handa Copper Corp.

The company holds daily safety morning meetings before work. Safety briefings are held prior to any new activity to examine potential risks. Safety incidents are reported, and presented and examined in subsequent safety meetings. Appropriate personal protective equipment is ensured and principal risks are identified and mitigated as far as practically possible.

HudBay Minerals

Our Environmental Health and Safety Policy requires operating locations to maintain a management system certified to the OHSAS 18001 standard (as well as ISO 14001) - this standard requires continuous improvement components in the certified management system.  In addition, our policy commits to continually improving the effectiveness of safety and health management systems.   The Charter for our Environment Health Safety and Sustainability Committee of our Board of Directors also mandates the committee to ensure that senior management have implemented a health and safety management system that can provide continuous improvement in health and safety matters.

Kinross Gold Corp.

At Kinross, health and safety is our number one priority – among employees, partners, contractors and suppliers, and in the communities in which we operate.

Working safely reflects a well-run operation and a skilled and dedicated team making the right decisions. Throughout our organization, we are committed to achieving excellence in health and safety performance, and to everyone returning home safe and healthy every day. We meet that pledge through our health and safety policy and framework, regular and comprehensive training, and the targets and performance standards we have established.

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Our Chief Operating Officer leads our focus on safety. Oversight and governance rests with the Corporate Responsibility Committee of the Board of Directors.

We achieved one of the best safety records in the industry over the period of 2013-14, with zero fatalities and the lowest injury rate among our peers.

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After observing an increase in Company-wide injury rates in the first quarter of 2011, we held a Global Time Out for Safety.  On that day, all Kinross employees and contractors at every operation, project site and office stopped work and took time to reflect on our safety performance. Kinross leaders shared the key requirements needed from employees to ensure that safety is the top priority and challenged workers to evaluate their personal behaviours and identify opportunities for improvement. The event generated a list of focus areas that all employees felt were important.

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Kinross commissioned a series of studies, including a complete Human Health Risk Assessment, to investigate the potential for community or workforce health impacts related to naturally occurring arsenic present in the Paracatu ore body. This study confirmed that there is no increase in employee or community health risk from arsenic due to Kinross mining activities. 

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In 2008 we created an on-site training centre at the mine that helps locals acquire the skills to work at modern mining operations. We have since trained over 2,000 people and have issued more than 860 certificates in our 36 areas such as underground miner, filtration operator and haul truck driver. 

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The Chirano Malaria Control Program (CMCP) covers the mine site and the nearby 13 communities in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai and the Sefwi Wiawso districts and focuses on keeping areas mosquito-free, improving disease diagnosis and prevention. From 2009-2011 the program reached its Phase 1 target of reducing workforce malaria incidence rate by 75%.  

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Our Fort Knox team is demonstrating how commitment and teamwork can dramatically improve safety performance through its “See It, Own It, Solve It” (SOS) program. 

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MBAC Fertilizer Corp.

Safety and Health Programs and procedures are continuously monitored such as: Health and Safety Management, Worker Health Monitoring Plan, Wellness program, Worker Medical Assistance Plan, Health and safety inspections and audits, Accident and incident investigation, Accident and incident statistics, Working condition requirements, worker training procedure, Worker Code of Conduct, Traffic Management, Emergency Response Management, etc.. Also, periodic meetings of senior management analyze and implement improvement plans. 

Nortec Minerals Corp.

Nortec will meet the highest standards of workplace safety, and provide working conditions that will meet the highest Canadian standards. 

NOVAGOLD Resources Inc.

We model our own programs around those of our major company partners, Barrick and Teck, that have among the most thorough health and safety programs in the industry.  This has been demonstrated by more than 9 years without a lost time incident at our Donlin Gold Project in Alaska.

Rhyolite Resources Ltd.

Health and safety is addressed by ensuring contractors have insurance.

Sherritt International Corporation

Our operations are built upon a culture of health and safety (H&S). We strive to ensure that every employee returns home from work safely. H&S issues are managed through systems for incident investigation, hazard identification and control, contractor management, maintenance of safeguards and follow-up assessments. We have health and safety training and an awareness program for employees on our health and safety policies and management systems, which align with regulatory requirements, external standards and good practice. We are focused on leadership and prevention activities and regularly undertake audits and reviews of our management systems.

Strata Minerals Inc.

The Company only hires experienced, local contractors to perform all of its exploration work. As part of the hiring process, the Company ensures that its contractors are up to date with Health and Safety standards. In addition, during site visits, management of the company checks to ensure health and safety protocols are being implemented and followed.

Suncor Energy Inc.

A number of initiatives are aimed at ensuring a safe and healthy environment for employees, contractors and residents. The first initiative is changing the work culture. Suncor insists that our employees and contractors make safety their personal responsibility. We introduced this approach in 2002 with the launch of Journey to Zero – a company-wide program aimed at eliminating workplace injuries.  The second initiative is recognizing those who do it right. Suncor's annual President's Operational Excellence Awards honour the employees and contractors who demonstrate an exceptional commitment to health and safety. 

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The third initiative is sharing resources in an emergency. Suncor is part of regional mutual aid agreements in Commerce City (Colorado) that sees industry participants coordinate and share emergency response resources with each other and with the municipality.  The fourth initiative is integrated planning. Suncor integrates environment, health and safety considerations into plans, designs, practices and performance programs.  The fifth initiative is striving to improve. At Suncor, we're always looking to improve on our past performance, including how to make our work sites and practices more efficient and safe. We do this by sharing best practices and lessons learned across the organization.

U.S. Oil Sands Inc.

The Company hired an internal HSE (Health, Safety, and Environment) professional which is also a certified HSE trainer.  All employees who are engaged in field activities to any extent are fully trained in acceptable health and safety standards.  Furthermore, safety is top of mind for all planning, and safety moments routinely open internal and external meetings.

Other Practices

A company indicated that health and safety is addressed through health and safety policies, internal and external guidelines and corporate governance, and is also managed and supported under the authority of management.

A company indicated that all of its workers have been trained in first-aid procedures, industrial security, and health and safety talks have been given at all stages of the exploration projects. The company’s intention is to create understanding that this type of legislation is made on the workers’ behalf, and that the responsibility of having a safe working zone depends strictly on them.