Health & Safety
We employ thousands of people around the world and are responsible for ensuring their safety and wellbeing
We are committed to maintaining our position as a best-in-class gold mining company with the highest operating and ESG standards, underpinned by unwavering focus on health and safety.
Occupational health and safety management systems of Nordgold head office, Gross, Taborny and Suzdal mines are certified vs. international standard ISO 14001.
Nordgold plans the completion of certification vs. ISO 45001 standard across the Group’s remaining mines by 2023.
The safety of our employees, contractors, visitors, and local communities is of paramount importance to us and critical to our operations. We believe that all injuries are preventable and are continuously working to ensure all sites are injury free.Read more
Our people are our greatest asset. Creating a safe, healthy, and supportive working environment earns our employees’ trust and is fundamental to our successful operations.Read more
We believe that the health and safety of the Group’s employees, contractors, and visitors, as well as respect for the environment and active engagement with local communities, are all fundamental to the success of our business. Our primary objective is to achieve Zero Harm. We are continually exploring new ways to improve our performance and deliver even better results.
Many of our policies, including the Health and Safety policy and the More Than Gold Safety Rules, as well as ISO 45001:2018 standard, methodologies, and safety procedures, combine to provide the basis of the Group’s health and safety management system.
Our Health and Safety policy is based on the following principles:
- Safety is a key value
- Incidents and injuries can be avoided by adhering to properly developed and applied risk management processes
- Preventing incidents and injuries positively impacts operations
- Health and safety targets must be made clear to all employees and operational targets shall not contradict our safety expectations. No work can be undertaken if safety could be compromised
- It is everyone’s responsibility to observe safety rules and procedures; and Management is directly responsible for preventing incidents and injuries
Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) *
* the number of lost time injuries occurring with employees and contractors in a workplace (per 200,000 hours worked).
Maintain stringent health and safety standards
Nordgold has health and safety risk management system for its mining operations. This helps everyone to understand the risks, learn from historic incidents, encourage appropriate behaviours, and to implement new risk mitigation processes and technologies.
We regularly review existing processes with particular emphasis on improving their quality and effectiveness. These include safety behaviour audits, improving health and safety standard operating procedures, safety and environmental training, and contractor safety policies and capabilities.
The Group will continue to implement its comprehensive risk management process to ensure risks are identified, assessed, and managed, risk registers are regularly reviewed by their owners at all levels, hazards are identified and managed, enabling continuous improvement in health and safety performance.
The Group adheres to local legislation requirements in all its operating regions, as well as best practice in the broader field of health and safety. The Group conducts annual health and safety audits at all its mines.
Each mine has environmental and health and safety specialists to focus on compliance with applicable health and safety regulations, as well as Nordgold’s own health and safety principles and policies. A professional HSE team also operates at the Group level to track safety performance, oversee all health and safety principles and policies, and to undertake regular health and safety audits
To ensure compliance with the health and safety requirements, safety performance is included in management KPIs.
The safety performance targets determine 15% of annual bonuses paid to the Group’s executive directors and senior managers
Numerous health and safety training initiatives are regularly implemented to promote improved safety performance among workers. Through these initiatives, Nordgold continues its efforts to lower incident rates on an annual basis.
Learn more about the safety culture of Nordgold
Safety is more than gold
Nordgold constantly works to further progress a step change in the level of adoption and effectiveness of the current safety management programmes and safety culture to sustain strong safety performance.
The film "I am alive!" was made to remind everyone that even the slightest danger carries a great risk to life and health. We must be careful and follow safety rules not only at work, but also in our everyday life. There are no trifles in safety, everything is important to stay alive!
COVID-19: Prioritising welfare during the global pandemic
Protecting people’s health
Our priority is to protect people: our employees, contractors and suppliers who work at our mines.
Preventing infection and maintaining team unity
Our strict quarantine, social distancing, and self-isolation rules are specifically designed to prevent virus spread. In this unprecedented environment, we need to be even more caring and respectful towards one another, while remaining focused on broader safety.
Working with our local communities
We continue to closely monitor and combat the virus across all the communities in which we operate. Where we can provide additional support, advice, logistics and healthcare, we do so in line with our ongoing commitment to supporting our host communities.
Fulfilling our commitments
We remain committed to all our stakeholders through this challenging time, including our employees, shareholders, creditors, contractors, suppliers, and local communities. We must be consistent, transparent, and fulfil all our obligations.
Our priority is to our people and our host communities. But we will also seek to ensure business continuity where it is safe and right to do so, protecting jobs, supply chains, local enterprises, and suppliers, and those dependent on the safe running of our mining operations.
To ensure the health of our people, we assessed all potential risks and immediately implemented mine-specific measures to mitigate against the challenges posed by COVID-19, including:
- Global COVID-19 testing programmes for our employees and contractors, hygiene, and distancing initiatives, mandatory quarantine requirements for employees arriving on site, extended shift schedule to reduce employees’ changeover frequency, travel restrictions and remote work regime for certain employees, evacuation procedures and agreements with clinics to treat employees who contract COVID-19.
- Identification, verification, and replenishment of critical stock; and identification of alternative suppliers.
- Special gold transportation measures were developed, as well as care-and-maintenance scenarios in case of any virus outbreak on mine sites and in surrounding communities.
- In May 2021, the Group launched a vaccination campaign at several of its mines.
Within a short period of time, we built new production buildings, accommodation blocks and canteens for our employees. Furthermore, we developed a care-and-maintenance programme for employees across all mine sites and in surrounding communities and extended transportation capacities to facilitate social distancing.
We continue to closely monitor the virus in all the communities in which we operate.
Nordgold strives to create a safe, healthy, and supportive workplace but we recognise that certain activities at our operations may impact our peoples’ health.
Our approach to managing and protecting the health and wellbeing of our employees and contractors is consistent with respective regulation in our operating jurisdictions and international leading practices.
We identify occupational exposures to aggressors having the potential to cause harm; assess the risk posed by those exposures; implement exposure controls based on the hierarchy of controls; and where the exposure cannot be immediately eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level, provide personal protective equipment and undertake qualitative and quantitative exposure monitoring and health surveillance.
Our mines are mostly located in remote areas. Therefore, most of our employees and contractors live and work at the mine in shifts (on a rotational basis).
Ensuring all employees and contractors benefit from a healthy, safe, and secure workplace, we strive to provide our employees with best accommodation, nutrition, healthcare and mental healthcare, protection, public services, transportation, and recreational facilities.
Our Lefa mine in Guinea built and constanly develops its leisure center Jacob Club. Lefa’s employees dialy exploit the Club’s catering facilities, supermarket, gym and an array of other top sporting facilities. Please see our video to learn more.
Our dedicated teams conduct regular medical surveillance to detect signs of potential occupational illness at an early stage. Where feasible, health insurance policies are provided to employees at Nordgold’s expense. We also operate and support local healthcare facilities around our mines to improve the access to medical services for our staff and host communities.
Health risks specific to our African operations, such as malaria and other infectious diseases, are monitored to ensure every effort is taken to mitigate them. Comprehensive medical management programmes to prevent and treat these illnesses are in place across our sites in affected countries. Sustained efforts are also deployed in collaboration with community leaders to educate and raise awareness of these risks within the local population.
Starting in 2020, sound COVID-19 protocols were designed and implemented at all our mining sites to protect our employees and communities against COVID-19 propagation and ensure timely access to adequate health care facilities. Vaccination campaigns were successfully deployed in the countries where we operate through our active collaboration with national health agencies and vaccines donations.