Achieving a culture of zero harm is a core value at Newmont. At all our operations, we strive to eliminate workplace injuries by focusing on safe behaviors, leadership and risk management. Newmont’s Cripple Creek & Victor mine recently took a number of steps to ensure the safety of its operations, investing in the advanced training of its Mine Rescue Team (MRT).
Men and women who are highly skilled professional miners – equipment operators, blasting technicians, heavy equipment mechanics, geologists and engineers – bring important work experience to their roles on the CC&V MRT.
Within the last year, these members have sharpened their skills by:
- Becoming emergency medical technicians
- Earning certifications from the state of Colorado as emergency medical responders
- Participating in advanced training and working with hazardous materials
As CC&V’s Safety and Training Specialist Greg Raley says, “It’s all about practice, practice, practice!”
Advanced lifesaving equipment was also acquired, and relationships with first responders from the cities of Cripple Creek, Victor and Woodland Park have been cultivated.
Safety training continued last month when Newmont sent regional MRT specialists from our Nevada operations to train CC&V personnel in performing confined space rescues. The weeklong training session included classroom activities and hands-on instruction.
Kerry Tuckett, Mine Rescue Coordinator from Nevada, brought teaching materials and years of experience to CC&V and spent a week training MRT on the use of advanced rescue equipment. During his visit, Kerry staged a simulated accident that allowed emergency responders to practice their skills. (No one was injured during this exercise.)
Every member of the MRT team was assigned a specific role and was given certain responsibilities for the team once they arrived on the scene. After assessing the situation, including testing for air quality, members of the team started ventilation of the confined space and methodically prepared the site for a safe rescue.
This exercise gave members of CC&V’s MRT the opportunity to become familiar with tools, build muscle memory with repetition, practice communications in stressful circumstances and develop a first responder mind-set.
In order to provide valuable feedback to the rescuers and to work towards continuous improvement, experienced managers were on hand to monitor and evaluate the drill. An essential part of any training is critique, not criticism.
Mike Peck, Newmont’s Regional Emergency Response Manager, summed it up very well when he said, “We are all like a family – our lives depend on one another.”