The wellbeing of people is our top priority, and the right to life and right to healthy and safe working conditions are among our most salient human rights risks. Falls from heights, electrical exposures, injuries associated with large equipment, and illnesses related to noise, dust particles, chemical vapors and repetitive tasks are among the significant health and safety risks our business faces on a daily basis. Critical to the sustainability of our business is vigilance in assessing, managing and, where possible, eliminating the health and safety risks associated with mining activities.
A core value at Newmont is safety. Our goal is zero harm – defined as a workplace free from injuries and illnesses and measured by zero fatalities. And while Newmont has made significant strides in reducing our injury rate by 74 percent over the past decade, we continue to have fatalities.
To continue to improve our health and safety performance, we focus on two key areas – the systems and processes that detail our commitments and requirements, and the behaviors and culture that motivate people to choose more healthy and safe choices.
Newmont’s commitment to protect the health and safety of our employees, business partners and visitors is articulated in our Health and Safety Policy. A set of management and technical standards – which are included in our global Health and Safety Management System – provide the governance, structure and minimum requirements to achieve our goal of an injury-free workplace.
Newmont’s Safety Journey – our global strategy to achieve zero harm – focuses on four strategic areas to help Newmont achieve a step change in our performance:
- Safety Leadership – Eliminating serious injuries and fatalities from the business requires visible, felt leadership where leaders demonstrate accountability for the safety of their teams and a genuine commitment to people. Because frontline supervisors play a critical role in building a culture of zero harm, our Safety Leadership Coaching program focuses on improving frontline supervisors’ leadership skill sets.
- Fatality Prevention – We have increased our focus on identifying, managing and embedding the understanding of critical controls – those controls that can either prevent serious events or minimize the consequences if such an event were to occur. Our internal health and safety audits test not only compliance with the systems and standards that govern risk management and other aspects of our health and safety program, but also the culture that is driving behaviors. Our site-based systems are aligned to Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001 standards.
- Employee Engagement – An environment where people feel empowered to work only when it is safe, stop work when they feel at risk, and have the courage to approach others when they see less safe behaviors or hazards is vital to achieving a culture of zero harm. Led by opinion leaders from throughout the ranks, our Vital Behaviors program helps workers identify and reinforce the behaviors that matter most to them. Personal safety plans and our performance management system also encourage employees to improve their own safety attitudes, behaviors and beliefs.
- Health and Wellness – The health and wellbeing of our people are just as important as their safety. We focus on seven key areas of performance – exposure management, medical services, wellness, health programs and sustainability, community/public health, governance, and the professional development of our health personnel. Health risk assessments and chemical management plans aim to anticipate, recognize, evaluate and control a variety of occupational health hazards. For similar exposure groups (SEG) with high risk agents, we establish baseline exposures, which contribute to the development of critical control management plans (CCMP). Wellness activities – such as nutrition and exercise education, “fit-for-duty” programs and on-site healthcare clinics with trained medical professionals – are designed to raise awareness and promote overall better health.
We measure our health and safety performance by tracking lagging indicators – such as injury and illness rates – as well as important leading indicators – such as safety interactions, exposure reduction, and identifying critical controls – that influence our performance. All significant events are investigated. Investigations and corrective actions to prevent reoccurrence related to serious potential events and serious accidents are reported to the executive leadership team and Board of Directors.
Technical training is provided to all employees working at our mine sites, and safety inductions are conducted for all contractors and visitors to our sites.
As required in our Emergency Preparedness and Response Standard, all Newmont facilities must identify, plan for and be able to respond effectively to emergency situations. In addition, each site has emergency response teams who participate in specialized training and mock drills, as well as competitions that test the teams’ preparedness and competencies against industry peers.
Through health impact assessments and our risk management process, we assess the safety and health impacts of mining activities on the communities. Plans to manage, mitigate or alleviate identified community safety and health risks are based on these assessments and ongoing analysis.
We are committed to learning from and sharing best practices with other industry players. We also take part in programs sponsored by the ICMM, the Mining Safety Roundtable, and the Earth Moving Equipment Safety Round Table to improve our performance. Finally, we participate in regional health and safety programs supported by the United States National Mining Association – including its CORESafety program, which sets a common path for mining companies to eliminate fatalities and cut serious injuries in half by 2017 – as well as the Western Australia Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Ghana Chamber of Mines and similar associations.
Despite our goal of zero harm, we tragically lost two people working on Newmont’s behalf in 2015.
In January, Brian Holmes, a contractor working at our Leeville underground mine in Nevada, suffered a fatal injury traveling in a shaft elevator. As a result of this accident, we installed enclosed cages to better protect workers being transported in the vent shaft. We also retrained employees on proper safety procedures. In September, Mastar Tedi, a contractor cutting down a tree at the Batu Hijau mine in Indonesia, was seriously injured when struck by a falling tree, succumbing to his injuries a few weeks later. Based on findings from the accident investigation, we are working to improve training, raise supervisor competencies in the tasks being performed, and increase vigilance with performing pre-task risk assessments.
Though we have yet to achieve our goal of zero harm, we made notable progress in reducing injuries. Our Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) of 0.32 was an 18 percent decline from 2014 and set a new record low for the fifth year in a row. This rate was second lowest among all International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) member companies.
With contractors comprising more than 50 percent of our workforce, each region continued work toward improving contractor training programs and conducting regular safety reviews in contractor work areas. The injury rate among contractors has been cut by almost half since 2011, with an additional 5 percent reduction in 2015 compared to the prior year.
(per 200,000 hours worked)
|Year||Total Recordable Injury
Frequency Rate (TRIFR)*
|Lost Time Injury
Frequency Rate (LTIFR)*
Frequency Rate (SIFR)
|* Note: We do not collect this data by gender.|
|Company||Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)*|
|Company||Total Fatality Frequency Rate (FFR)*|
|Region||Exposure Hours||Fatalities||Lost Time Injuries*||Restricted Work Injuries*||Medical Treatment Injuries*||Lost Days||2015 LTIFR||2015 TRIFR|
|* Note: We do not collect this data by gender.|
In 2015, our Occupational Illness Frequency Rate (OIFR) declined to 0.06 from 0.29 in 2014, largely due to improved reporting of work-related musculoskeletal injuries at our Yanacocha operation in Peru. In previous years, Yanacocha had included in its reporting a number of musculoskeletal injuries that had, in fact, occurred outside the workplace.
Our OIFR metric includes illnesses such as noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), respiratory illnesses, occupational infections (such as malaria, tuberculosis and dengue fever), work-related cancers, skin diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. During 2014, our internal assurance processes identified that cases of NIHL – defined as a confirmed recordable hearing shift of at least 25 decibels – had been over-counted in some regions. This over-reporting included cases of shifts that were below thresholds as well as shifts flagged during initial screenings but not confirmed by an audiologist. As a result, we standardized our recording and classification of NIHL and restated our results for NIHL to include only confirmed cases in 2014 and 2015.
|Region||2014 OIFR*||2015 OIFR*|
|* Note: These figures include contractors. We currently are not able to report employee and contractor OIFR data separately, and we do not collect this data by gender.|
Activities in 2015 among our four strategic areas of focus included:
Concern about the response to the unprecedented Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa led to the formation of the Ebola Private Sector Mobilization Group (EPSMG) in 2014. EPSMG, of which Newmont is a founding member, began as a platform for mining companies to share information. After forming, the organization grew its members to more than 80 companies across multiple sectors, and also expanded its purpose to include advocacy for a global, mobilized and coordinated response to the outbreak.
In 2015, the EPSMG shifted its focus from response to resilience, supporting the “No More Epidemics” campaign that aims to bring together civil society, the private sector, academia, governments and multilateral organizations to prevent major epidemics through good surveillance, early detection and effective response. We support these efforts through our health awareness campaigns and through training on universal precautions – conducted by our health services provider International SOS – at local health clinics in Ghana.
Our strategic objectives for 2016 are to eliminate fatalities by implementing critical controls for key fatal risks; improve “lessons learned” processes and methods for sharing between regions; reduce health exposures by implementing CCMPs for airborne agents; and further reduce our TRIFR by another 10 percent. To achieve these goals, we are focused on elevating our performance in the following key areas:
- Improving the quality of safety interactions and pre-task risk assessments;
- Clearly defining operational leaders’ work and alignment of accountabilities and authorities for health and safety;
- Piloting improvements to the investigation process and reducing repeat events by increasing critical learnings;
- Continuing to measure the effectiveness of critical controls, including independent assurance;
- Implementing a global Integrated Management System (IMS) and updating associated health and safety technical standards and guidance;
- Incorporating critical controls into our Vital Behaviors program to increase understanding and compliance, and implementing a health and safety recognition program to celebrate exceptional work teams and their performance; and
- Implementing our global Occupational Health and Wellness Roadmap.