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Safety

Kibali underground rescue

Nothing is more important to us than the safety, health and well-being of our employees and contractors. This is at the forefront of our minds every day as mining has a wide and frequent range of safety risks to be managed with heavy machinery in operation, large volumes of material moved, loud noises, potential rock falls and hazardous chemicals. We are committed to working towards a zero-harm work environment with a safety culture based on personal responsibility and international best practice.

Providing a safe and healthy workplace is the most fundamental obligation we have to our employees, to our contractors, to our suppliers and to everyone who visits one of our sites.

Management approach

One of our first priorities following our merger with Randgold was to update our Occupational Health and Safety Policy. The refreshed policy commits us to provide the leadership and resources required for all our workers to go home safe and healthy every day. It sets clear expectations for all sites to establish and maintain an effective and widely communicated management system that mitigates safety risks and strives for continual improvement. It firmly sets out our commitment to a safety culture that encourages people to proactively manage health and safety risks through education, instruction, information and supervision.

In order to implement our corporate policy, Barrick has a Health and Safety Management System which assists the Company in managing risks, complying with legislation and voluntary commitments, conforming to Barrick standards and facilitating continual improvement. Site-specific procedures are also developed to address local requirements and the operational controls that must be followed. Each mine applies a systematic approach to identifying, monitoring and managing safety risk to make it is ‘as low as reasonably practicable’ (ALARP).

Fatality Prevention Commitments

Our renewed focus on safety and reaffirmed commitment to prevent fatalities has led to the Group-wide roll out of new written controls including our ten Fatality Prevention Commitments to help eliminate fatalities and serious injuries. Our ‘Commitments and Unacceptable Behaviors’ guideline has also been instigated, that reaffirms our zero tolerance of behavior such as working on site under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Both of these controls sought consultation from various levels of the organization with employee input helping shape the documents before they were distributed.

Barrick’s Fatality Prevention Commitments provide the cultural foundation to achieve our Health and Safety vision of ‘Everybody Going Home Safe and Healthy Every Day’. We believe that a proper understanding of workplace hazards and controls, combined with effective leadership to guide our decisions and actions creates the safest workplaces.

Our Fatality Prevention Commitments align with the ICMM Life Saving Controls, which are based upon lessons learned from fatal incidents within the mining industry - including Barrick’s experience.

Morning session

Fatality prevention commitments

Occupational Health

Mining and its associated processes can expose workers to a range of occupational health hazards. These could include respiratory problems, long-term strain injuries and damage to hearing or mental health. These require careful management to reduce the risk of them developing into serious health problems. We are determined to protect our workforce from such impacts through our occupational health and wellness activities.

Malaria and HIV programs

Access to healthcare is an acute challenge for most host communities in our AME region. At the former Randgold mines we have advanced and detailed programs in place to reduce two of the biggest health challenges facing our communities in the region: Malaria and HIV/AIDS.

Malaria

The four former Randgold sites (Kibali, Loulo-Gounkoto, Tongon and Morila) provide complimentary basic medical care, including treatment for malaria to their workforce, their immediate families and to all community members living within a 15km radius of our mines. The standalone program sees the wide distribution of disease controls including mosquito nets and spraying programs (see NET BENEFITS).

Voluntary HIV testing

The results of its malaria reduction activity in 2018 were very encouraging and saw the malaria incidence rate across the four former Randgold mines drop by 16.6% compared to 2017, bringing the malaria incidence rate to 22.8%.

Lumwana is the only legacy Barrick mine with significant malaria incidence and this has now been included in an expanded malaria program. When Lumwana is included, the baseline malaria incidence rate for the AME region in 2018 was 20.4%.

HIV/AIDS

To reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS in our host communities, the former Randgold sites partnered with expert local HIV-focused NGOs to develop and deliver awareness raising and education programs, distribute free condoms and to promote voluntary counseling and testing (VCTs) to provide counseling to anyone who tests positive and arrange referrals for antiretroviral drugs.

In total the former Randgold’s HIV/AIDS program in 2018:

  • Distributed more than 313,000 condoms
  • Provided more than 11,000 free VCTs to our workforce and local community, an increase on 2017
  • Saw HIV prevalence rates drop from 1.33 to 1.02 across the former Randgold mines

Net Benefits: Boosting Productivity by Combating Malaria

Around 90% of all malaria-linked deaths occur in Africa and the disease causes enormous human and economic costs.

At the four mines run by former Randgold, malaria accounted for approximately 20-25% of annual worker absences. Thus, it is in the interests of our business and the welfare of our workforce and host communities in the region that we invest in meaningful steps to eradicate malaria from our operations in Africa.

Case Study

In 2018 the former Randgold spent more than $680,000 on initiatives to combat malaria. Efforts included:

  • Distributing more than 13,700 insecticide impregnated mosquito nets
  • Larvaciding within a 10km radium of each of our mines
  • Working with an entomology consultant to understand which chemicals will be most effective to spray at each site
  • Training staff on correct chemical spraying techniques and expanding the areas sprayed
  • Providing insect repellent to night shift workers, who are particularly exposed to the disease
  • Providing prophylactic anti-malarial medication to all workers at our West Africa operations during the four-month transmission season

In host communities such as these in Mali, Côte d’Ivoire and the DRC these actions have driven malaria incidence down dramatically from the baselines set before operations began. Incidence has reduced in 2018:

  • From 132%1 (2010) to approximately 32% around Tongon in Côte d’Ivoire
  • From 113% (2011) to approximately 13% around Kibali in DRC
  • From 192% (2000) to approximately 10% around Morila in Mali
  • From 74% (2011) to approximately 28% around Loulo-Gounkoto in Mali

Many of these practices are no being applied at Lumwana in Zamiba.

1Note that as malaria can be contracted more than once, incidence can rise above 100%.