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Sustainability > Our People

Workplace Safety

Every incident is preventable, and everyone has the right to a safe working environment.

Exposure to mining equipment, harsh weather conditions, loud noises, potential rock falls, hazardous chemicals, confined spaces, slips, trips, and operator error can all contribute to workplace injuries. We are committed to achieving a zero-incident work environment with a safety culture based on teamwork and leadership.

We believe that the prevention of all incidents is a realistic goal and not just a theoretical objective. With any less demanding objective, injuries and illnesses become acceptable. Belief in this principle provides a commitment to determine and eliminate the root cause so that future occurrences can be prevented. Nothing is more important than the safety, health and well-being of our workers and their families.

Priorities in 2018
  • Zero fatalities
  • Zero severe safety and occupational health incidents
  • Achieve a Total Reportable Incident Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 0.32
  • Implement a consistent approach to life saving controls

Barrick’s Safety & Health Policy and Safety & Health Management System are the primary tools that guide our efforts to achieve zero incidents. They require safety and occupational health evaluation, as well as planning and design to be integrated into our business development strategies. All our people and contractors are responsible for safety in our mines, exploration, closure sites and in the communities where we operate. Management establishes safety goals, requires accountability for performance, and provides the necessary resources. Safe production is always our goal, and these tools help sites stay committed to continuous improvement in safety performance.

Barrick’s Safety Vision

Every person going home safe and healthy every day.

We have implemented important safety and health programs and activities, special training for emergency response teams, performance measurement, risk-assessment processes, recognition programs for safety achievement, and a steady flow of information to keep people focused on continuous safety improvement. Safety training programs are conducted for our people and contractors at all Barrick operations and projects, as well as at our office locations.

Regular corporate assurance reviews at our operations help identify safety and occupational health hazards and confirm that effective controls are in place and monitored for continued improvement and effectiveness. When safety and health assurance reviews identify deficiencies, we pinpoint the root causes so that preventive actions can be implemented.

Safety Performance

We achieved the lowest safety incident record in our history in 2017 with a total reportable injury frequency rate of 0.35. ? Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) is the total number of fatalities, lost-time injuries, and injuries requiring medical treatment per 200,000 hours worked. Data includes JVs not operated by Barrick (Veladero, Donlin, Porgera and Jabal Sayid).

Total Reportable Injuries

Fatalities

We deeply regret to report two fatalities at Barrick in 2017.

In February, we lost William Francisco Garrido Miranda, a contractor at our Pascua-Lama site in Chile, when he suffered fatal injuries after an unsecured load fell on him. Barrick has continued to emphasize and improve its Courage to Care program, a training program that reinforces a culture of safety among our people. Through this program, we can affirm the message that nothing is more important than the safety, health and well-being of our people and their families.

In November, we had a second fatality when Eulogio (Bot) Gutierrez, a surveying technician at our Hemlo mine in Canada, was fatally injured after being struck by a piece of mobile equipment while working in the underground mine. In response, Barrick is working hard to reinforce its Fatal Risk Management and Lifesaving Controls Programs. These programs require sites to establish and improve controls in areas related to safety and health, such as proximity detection and collision avoidance, resulting in fewer injuries and fatalities.

Life Saving Controls

Over the past decade, we have seen a substantial improvement in our total reportable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) and other safety statistics. Nevertheless, we continue to experience fatalities at Barrick mine sites. We are increasing our efforts so that we eliminate fatalities and achieve our safety vision of every person going home safe and healthy every day.

We have identified 15 fatal-risk categories that continue to be our focus for improvement going forward. ? Fatal Risks are risks that could, in specific circumstances, result in fatalities. The top five risk categories include: Operation of Mobile Equipment (Heavy), Operation of Mobile Equipment (Light Vehicle), Stored Energy, Fires (fixed and mobile), and Use of Cranes and Lifting Devices. The internal assurance review process and trending analysis help to identify emerging risks, as well as to show where progress is being made towards improving controls and reducing fatal-risk-related incidents.

Building on this analysis, we have developed a Fatal Risk Management Plan based on the ICMM critical control management guidance. This is a fundamental change in thinking whereby sites are required to have processes in place to effectively monitor the identified controls that work to prevent the identified fatal incidents.

In 2017, each site was required to implement Life Saving Controls for their top five fatal risks. All Barrick-operated sites achieved this target. In 2018, each site will create Critical Control Management Plans for each of the remaining applicable controls.

Fatal Risk Management

In 2017, each site was required to implement Life Saving Controls for their top five fatal risks. All Barrick-operated sites achieved this target.

Fatigue

Fatigue is inherent in any operation in which people work late into the night, start early in the morning, or work long hours. It is generally believed that fatigue can negatively affect an operation in many ways: fatigued people are less productive, more prone to health problems, more likely to quit, and most importantly, more likely to be in an incident.

We turned our attention to fatigue in 2011 and began to develop a Fatigue Risk Management Standard (FRMS) using the science of circadian physiology. This Standard is now implemented across the Company and provides a consistent structure and approach to program components such as training, work scheduling, and monitoring. 

At the same time, we are investigating how we can identify fatigue episodes on the job. Through the use of various technologies, Barrick is piloting the monitoring of individuals’ sleep quality in order to identify those who, through lack of sleep, are highly likely to have a sleep event during a shift. This information can help workers identify ways to help combat fatigue and improve their overall health.

We are also piloting Fatigue Monitoring and Intervention Technologies at many of our mine sites. These innovative technologies range from cameras that monitor eye movement to head bands that monitor changes in brain wave activity. At the Pueblo Viejo mine in the Dominican Republic, a 2017 pilot experienced a 97% reduction in micro-sleeps following the introduction of fatigue management technology.

To support this technology, Barrick has a specific training course for shift workers called Managing a Mining Lifestyle. Through the Managing a Mining Lifestyle course and working with our management teams, our aim is to develop a culture where our people are comfortable reporting fatigue.

Innovation

We are piloting Fatigue Monitoring and Intervention Technologies at many of our mine sites.

Safety Committees

Barrick believes that everyone is responsible for workplace safety. Therefore, we have safety committees at all sites and hold regular safety meetings to help address the needs of each site. Many of our operations conduct daily safety meetings, while others conduct weekly meetings.

Joint representation of managers, supervisors, and workers on our safety committees helps us hold each other accountable for superior safety and health practices and provides the leadership and resources needed to achieve our vision. Safety interactions, using tools such as Visible Felt Leadership and task observation programs, are also conducted by functional areas within each operation to involve all workers in eliminating unsafe conditions in the work environment.

Safety Committees

All Barrick sites have occupational health and safety committees representing 100% of Barrick’s people.