At Newmont, we believe that zero harm is about making safety a core value – both at work and at home. It’s about eliminating physical injuries and illnesses, taking control of your health and safety, and consistently choosing more safe behaviors.
Newmont’s journey to zero harm has continuously evolved over our 91-year history, and much progress has been made on reducing injury rates. However, Newmont – and the mining industry as a whole – still has work to do to reduce the fatality rate, which has not declined at the same rate as injuries over the past 20 years.
To share Newmont’s efforts to improve our safety performance, Gary Goldberg, our President and Chief Operating Officer, presented a webinar, The Road to Zero Harm, on August 7, 2012, for a couple hundred employees, contractors and members of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration (SME).
“The road to zero harm is a journey that is never ending,” Goldberg said. “As our industry tackles new and old challenges, there is a risk that safety becomes a secondary focus. This is why it is so important that safety is an inherent value of every employee and contractor.”
With less safe behaviors being the predominant cause of our serious injuries and fatalities, as well as our near misses, Newmont is focusing on what drives employees and contractors to choose less safe behaviors over more safe behaviors. Our efforts to drive zero harm include:
- Launched Our Safety Journey in 2009 to help integrate safety into the business and establish a maturity model to guide our progress along the journey;
- Expanded the program to My Safety Journey in 2011 to “Make Safety Personal” and demonstrate how each employee and contractor is a Safety Leader who is accountable for ensuring a safe workplace for themselves and for others;
- Added the Vital Behaviors program, which is now underway, to engage workforce members in identifying what motivates them to choose more safe behaviors over less safe options.
Through these efforts, we are moving the entire organization to a level where safety is owned by individuals, teams and line management. Our 43,000 employees and contractors are more aware of safety risks, their role in safety and the power they have as individuals to integrate safety into everything they do.
For example, in Ghana, hazardous driving conditions and behaviors are prevalent throughout the country. Through our Vital Behaviors program, our operators decided to put family photos in company vehicles to remind themselves to come home safe. These individuals and teams also decided to visit accident victims so they could see for themselves the personal impact of unsafe driving.
By creating a strategy to influence more safe behaviors and educating themselves of the risks of speeding, talking on cell phones or other distractions, Newmont has been able to reduce road-related incidents dramatically.
Newmont’s Safety Journey also aligns with efforts to raise the safety performance of the entire industry:
- We have signed on to CORESafety, a program sponsored by the National Mining Association (NMA) that aims to eliminate fatalities and reduce the injury rate by half in the next five years.
- Newmont is an active participant in the Earthmoving Equipment Safety Round Table (EMESRT), which engages equipment manufacturers to improve the safety performance of mining equipment.
- We adhere to the International Council on Mining & Metals principles, including a commitment to continually improve our health and safety performance. As an industry, we’re working to develop a set of leading indicators that could help increase our safety performance.
“Our industry has come so far in the 30 years that I have been in this business,” Goldberg said. “The shift to focus on behaviors has clearly improved the accident and fatality rates, but we cannot claim victory. We still have valued colleagues and cherished family members who are seriously injured or killed on the job or at home, and that should be unacceptable to all of us. We can never be complacent.”