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Sustainability > Our People > Workplace Safety

Occupational Health & Wellness

We work to optimize our people’s health and well-being to support their quality of life and reduce the risk of injury and illness.

We seek to identify and manage the risks arising from physical, chemical, and other workplace hazards by anticipating, identifying, evaluating, and controlling these health hazards and exposures in the first place. To do this, our sites carry out site-specific occupational health activities and programs, depending on the exposure at each site to health risks.

Barrick’s Safety & Health Policy and Safety & Health Management System are the primary tools that guide our efforts towards achieving zero incidents. They require safety and occupational health evaluation, as well as planning and design to be integrated into our business development strategies. Barrick monitors sites to verify they are meeting industrial hygiene standards, including regulations on chemical, physical, and biological hazards control.

Our sites also promote wellness initiatives, including stop-smoking programs, fatigue management, and travel security training. Through data collection and monitoring, we have identified respiratory illness, improper body positioning that contributes to sprains and strains, fatigue and poor lifestyle health as the top health risks within the Company. We have put in place several programs to address these risks.

Our goal is to create a sustained trend towards the elimination of occupational illness at our mine sites.

In 2017, priority objectives included health exposure determinations and mitigation actions, mitigation of physical demands for top high-risk tasks and providing functional capacity evaluations ? A functional capacity evaluation is used to determine someone’s ability to function within their role. for newly hired and transferred people. The Company is also seeking to implement critical control wellness leading indicators for occupational health based on the ICMM critical control management guidance.

Respiratory Illness

Respiratory illness is a concern within the mining industry and, without proper controls in place, it is difficult to detect since symptoms are often not present until years after exposure. Because of this, Barrick has industrial hygiene programs that detect exposure agents such as dust, gases and fumes, which are tracked in a database management system. This helps us to better identify exposure to agents and allows us to develop measures to mitigate these exposures.

When we identify potential exposure to agents, we first seek to remove workers from the exposure by changing the job or finding an alternative means of completing the work. Alternatively, we may substitute whatever is causing the exposure with a less hazardous chemical agent. Should these methods not be feasible, we implement engineering controls such as dust collection systems and ventilation systems. When systems are being installed or repaired, or where engineering controls simply are not enough, Personal Protection Equipment such as respirators are used to protect our workers.

Barrick has had in place a Respiratory Protection Standard across the Company since 2012, and we conduct periodic assurance reviews against the Standard, at a minimum of every two years at each site. In addition, through our Health and Wellness program, we conduct periodic medical checks for people who have a high risk for respiratory illness (such as those who are frequently exposed to silica).


Industrial hygienists use personal monitoring and analytical methods to detect the extent of worker exposure to contaminants, and employ engineering work practice controls and other methods to control potential health hazards. Our hygienists have developed a global database to collect exposure data, which is helping us identify areas where controls are lacking or inadequate.

HIV/AIDS and Malaria

HIV/AIDS and malaria remain a health problem for many people in Zambia. We have programs in place, often in collaboration with NGO partners, to address these illnesses, including HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), HIV/AIDS awareness, peer educators, anti-retroviral therapy (ART), and mosquito abatement. These programs have both on-site and community components. One hundred percent of at-risk people who work for Barrick and their families (with regard to HIV/AIDS and/or malaria) are currently eligible to access preventive initiatives or treatment. Affected people and their families are receiving treatment, highly subsidized or free of charge.