Effectively managing the safety risks inherent in our business is essential to protecting our workforce and the communities in which we operate. We are focused on identifying, understanding and controlling the risks associated with hazards in the workplace because we believe that everyone has the right to return home safe at the end of the day.
Our Health and Safety Policy states our commitment to protecting workers, business partners and visitors, and a global set of standards, guidelines, operating procedures and systems detail the accountabilities, mandatory controls and minimum requirements for managing our business in a way that protects people.
In recent years, the primary focus of our safety strategy has been on eliminating fatalities in the workplace. Launched in 2016, our Fatality Risk Management system aims to provide the rigor and discipline around understanding our top risks and effectively managing them through robust controls and systems.
Last year, we identified the top 16 fatality risks that are common across our business along with the critical controls that must be in place every time we undertake a task involving that risk to prevent or minimize the consequence. Site managers perform frequent field-based observations, called verifications, to confirm the critical controls are in place and effective at the time the work occurs. Any deficiencies found during the verifications must be addressed before resuming work.
Other key elements of our Fatality Risk Management system include:
- Standards – All top fatality risks are supported by global standards and procedures that set the minimum mandatory requirements for everyone working on Newmont’s behalf.
- Audits – To ensure all fatality risk standards are consistently, properly and effectively implemented, an internal team (independent of the operation) conducts site audits approximately every two years to observe practices, examine documents and records, and interview key site management, employees and contractors.
- Leadership – A governance framework showing clear accountabilities through the organization up to our Chief Executive Officer is essential for success. Every site general manager sponsors at least one of our fatality risks and leads a team that manages the critical controls and their performance criteria. Site leaders are responsible for frequently verifying critical controls and supervisors must monitor implementation of the critical controls in the field.
- Engagement – Learning lessons through quality event investigations and reviews is vital to preventing recurrences and raising the bar on our performance. We encourage sites to report near misses – known as serious potential events (SPE) – and we are committed to improving the thoroughness of investigations, examining system failures or ineffective controls, and communicating findings across all our operations. Investigations and corrective actions to prevent recurrence related to SPEs and fatalities are also reviewed with the executive leadership team and Board of Directors.
Other key focus areas of our safety strategy include employee engagement and leadership beyond our fatality risk management system. Through safety interactions and programs, such as Vital Behaviors, sites seek to empower everyone to stop work when they feel at risk and have the courage to approach others and speak up when they see hazards or at-risk actions. Coaching programs – such as one in Australia where senior leaders provide one-on-one coaching to improve their direct reports’ safety leadership skills – help leaders demonstrate accountability for the safety of their teams and a genuine commitment to people. Each operation conducts engagement and coaching that best fits the site’s culture.
Technical safety training is provided to all employees working at our mine sites, and safety inductions are conducted for all site visitors. With contractors constituting more than 50 percent of our workforce, each region conducts contractor training programs and regular safety reviews in contractor work areas.
Every Newmont facility is required to identify, plan for and respond effectively to emergency situations. Each mine site has emergency response teams that participate in specialized training and mock drills. A number of these teams also participate in competitions that test the teams’ preparedness and competencies against industry peers.
All recordable safety events are entered and tracked in our Integrated Management System (IMS). Safety performance reports – which include data on fatalities, injuries, SPEs and control verifications – are published company-wide on a monthly basis. Our safety performance is reviewed and lessons learned from at least one significant event or SPE are discussed during a quarterly CEO-led call with executive, regional and functional leaders. Detailed updates are provided to the Board of Directors during every quarterly Board meeting.
To improve our performance and that of the broader industry through sharing best practices, we actively participate in the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), Mining Safety Roundtable, Western Australia Chamber of Minerals and Energy, the Ghana Chamber of Mines and the U.S. National Mining Association’s (NMA) safety programs.
No work-related fatalities occurred at any Newmont site or facility in 2017. However, we had a tragic event in April 2018, which resulted in the deaths of six contractors who were working on the construction of a structure at the Ahafo Mill Expansion project in Ghana. As of the date of this publication, an investigation had commenced, and we were cooperating with authorities to determine the cause.
In 2017, work on our Fatality Risk Management system included:
- We completed more than 11,000 verifications of critical controls, finding 91 percent to be effective. For the approximately 9 percent of controls found to be non-effective, comments were recorded and work resumed once any deficiencies were addressed.
- Compared to the previous year, reporting on SPEs increased 37 percent, which we view as a positive trend for highlighting and raising awareness of key risks, learning and sharing lessons, and improving our event investigations to prevent repeat events.
- All sites completed gap assessments against the fatality risk standards and developed action plans that are now being implemented. We also conducted independent audits against the standards at four of our 12 operating sites – Akyem (Ghana), Boddington (Australia), Carlin Underground (Nevada) and Yanacocha (Peru).
- Findings from the critical control verifications, audits, SPEs and gap assessments identified opportunities to improve our processes related to barricading and exclusion zones and working on live equipment during testing or fault findings.
(per 200,000 hours worked)*
|Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate
|Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate
|Serious Injury Frequency Rate
(per 200,000 hours worked)
|Region||Exposure hours||Fatalities||Lost time injuries||Restricted work injuries||Medical treatment injuries||Lost days||LTIFR||TRIFR|
* These figures include all project and exploration sites. We do not collect this data by gender. All data has been adjusted to reflect our reclassification of injuries and illnesses to align with ICMM guidelines.
In 2017, we conducted an independent review of our injuries and illnesses reporting procedures and data, benchmarking them against ICMM, the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) guidelines and classifications. A key finding was that we had regional differences in interpretation due to the influence of national regulations, and our consistency in our reporting would improve by aligning all our regions to the ICMM guidelines.
Based on the findings, we updated our injury classifications and restated our Total Recordable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) and Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) for the past five years. As a result of the classification changes, both our TRIFR and LTIFR increased as we expanded the boundaries and definitions on what were considered reportable injuries.
In 2017, our TRIFR was 0.46, which held steady compared to the restated TRIFR for 2016. With hand injuries accounting for around 50 percent of all our recorded injuries in 2017, we are evaluating our manual handling work. Our Boddington, Yanacocha and Twin Creeks (Nevada) operations piloted a business process improvement program to reduce injuries to arms and hands, and the employee-led Vital Behaviors team at our Carlin operation initiated a program to find ways to remove hands from the work through re-engineered tools or restructured work processes.
Other notable efforts to make Newmont a safer place to work include:
- We had more than 224,700 safety interactions throughout the year. In Ghana, we piloted a Safety Improvement Project that focused on the quality of these interactions through coaching and improving how lessons are learned so events are not repeated.
- To improve the safety of our personnel while traveling, we launched a TravelSafe program, which includes a new website with information on travel restrictions, required travel documents, risk planning, pre-travel health, tools, reference guides as well as a blog that is updated regularly.
- The NMA recognized Newmont for receiving independent certification under the NMA’s CORESafety system – a risk-based management system anchored in leadership, management and assurance. To earn the certification, a third party assessed our safety and health management system to verify that it is functionally equivalent to CORESafety.
Eliminating fatalities and reducing injuries is a significant journey and one that requires constant diligence. We will continue to focus on building confidence in managing our fatality risks. This work includes:
- Improving our critical controls by incorporating findings from our SPE investigations, critical control verifications and audits;
- Scoping, planning and implementing the next phase of our Fatality Risk Management system, which includes the role of frontline leaders and their teams;
- Assessing technology options that allow critical control verifications to be documented and recorded in the field and tracked in a centralized tool;
- Auditing all eight remaining sites against the fatality risk standards;
- Extending to other sites the business process improvement pilot aimed at reducing injuries related to manual handling and tooling;
- Assessing all of Newmont’s safety programs – including Vital Behaviors – to identify areas of alignment and leverage the programs having the greatest impact; and
- Improving the quality of our SPE investigation and learning lessons processes to ensure we reduce the likelihood of repeat events.