Health and Safety

Context

Mining activities can pose health and safety risks to employees, contractors, and nearby communities. With proper management of risks incidents and accidents can be prevented. The mining industry has made great strides toward achieving zero harm. Historically, and still today in some jurisdictions, workers at mining operations can be subject to potentially dangerous situations given that mining usually involves the use of explosives, working in confined spaces, use and maintenance of large mobile and stationary equipment and use of potentially hazardous chemicals such as cyanide during production processes. Across the mining industry, the health and safety of employees and contractors is a major priority and New Gold is very focused on our performance in this area.

Description of Impacts

Health and safety risks and impacts don’t just impact individuals; they impact families, communities, and businesses in the short and long term.

Management Approach

We recognize our responsibility to provide a workplace that will keep our employees and contractors safe and healthy. In support of this, we implement management systems to continually improve health and safety performance, and take all reasonable measures to conduct our activities in a safe way.

At New Gold, we are dedicated to protecting our employees through safety-first work practices and promoting a culture of well-being. We support our employees’ right to refuse unsafe work; require that they assess and mitigate all risks associated with the job, report all incidents, hazards, and near misses; and encourage participation in programs that enhance health, safety and well-being. Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees (JOHSCs) have been created at all of our sites to ensure that workers and contractors are able to raise health and safety issues to mine management. Incidents and near misses are investigated and analyzed so that corrective and preventive actions can be taken to minimize the risk of recurrence across all our sites.

2017 Health and Safety Performance Spotlight

In 2017 we continued to achieve strong results through very challenging times – notably the closure process at Cerro San Pedro, Mexico and construction of a greenfield mine, Rainy River in northern Ontario. Our operations and projects reached the following health and safety milestones:

  • Blackwater project reached five years with no Lost-Time Injuries (LTI) and three years with no Total Reportable Injuries (i.e., no medical treatment or alternate work duty due to injury). There were no injuries in 2017.
  • Mesquite had outstanding results in 2017, exceeding all of their Health and Safety Key Performance Indicators. Mesquite did not have any LTIs in 2017 (with over 700,000 hours worked) and had six consecutive months incident free.
  • There were no significant regulatory fines or orders regarding health and/or safety non-compliance in 2017.
  • CSP was awarded a certificate of excellence from the Mexican Secretariat of Labour and Social Welfare for their performance as a “safe company”.

We credit the sites’ outstanding accomplishments to our collective effort towards prioritizing safety and focusing on prevention and corrective actions. In 2017, several culture-based and skills-based initiatives were implemented, which we expect will contribute to sustained improvement in performance going forward. Examples are a “Visible Leadership Program” (culture-based) and an Incident Cause Analysis Method (ICAM) which was implemented at all operations (skills-based).

Scorecard 2: Health and Safety

Priorities 2017 Target 2017 Performance 2018 Target
Occupational Health and Safety Occupational Health and Safety
  • Achieve 20% reduction of the three-year rolling average for Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) across the operations.
    • NOT ACHIEVED
  • No LTIFR target set, as focus has been shifted to include reduction of all injuries. TRIFR target has been established.
  • Achieve 5% reduction of the three-year rolling average for Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) at each operation.
    • ACHIEVED
  • Achieved a Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) reduction of 16%.
  • SDG 16
  • Achieved Achieved
  • Missed Not Achieved
  • Missed Partially Achieved
  • SDG = Sustainable Development Goal

 

Occupational Health and Safety Performance1,2
2015 2016 2017
Lost-Time Injuries (LTI) 1 5 8
Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)3 0.03 0.24 0.25
Total Reportable Injuries (TRI)4 52 72 86
Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)5 1.86 3.15 2.64
Total number of employees and contractors6 1,825 1,569 1,561
1.

All Injury Frequency Rate (AIFR) is the number of all injuries per 200,000 hours worked.

2.

Injuries include both trauma and occupational diseases.

3.

Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) is the number of lost-time injuries per 200,000 hours worked. Lost-Time Injuries x 200,000 hours ÷ total hours worked.

4.

Total Reportable Injuries (TRI) includes LTI, Restricted Duties Injuries and Medical Treatment Injuries.

5.

Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) is the number of injuries per 200,000 hours worked. (Lost-Time Injuries + Medical Treatment Injuries + Restricted Duties Injuries) x 200,000 hours ÷ total hours worked.

6.

Includes permanent and defined term employees and contractors at all sites and offices, as well as the corporate exploration team.

 

Training

We believe training is a vital part of our success. Health and safety training, including emergency response training, is critical at all New Gold sites and is reviewed regularly for continuous improvement. Our Health and Safety Standard requires that sites dedicate at least 1.25% of working hours to health and safety training. In 2017, approximately 68,854 hours of safety training were achieved across our operations, constituting about 1.1% of total working hours. While this is below our target, plans are in place to ensure that we meet or exceed this target next year. Training was provided on a range of topics, including health and safety orientations, emergency response, specific hazards (such as confined spaces), as well as JOHSCs training.

Our emergency response team members develop skills in first aid, evacuation, spill control and firefighting, as well as other site-specific emergency skills. In order to protect rescue workers, teams are regularly trained and conduct exercises, as well as participate in external competitions in a broad range of scenarios to maintain a high level of readiness and expertise.

Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees

At New Gold, we consider Joint Occupational Health and Safety Committees (JOHSCs) a critical element of a well-functioning health and safety system. As mentioned above, JOHSCs are in place at each of our sites and are composed of worker and management representatives. These committees are advisory bodies that help to raise awareness of health and safety issues in the workplace, and are committed to improving health and safety performance at our sites. The JOHSCs regularly participate in audits, conduct site inspections, identify potential issues, and make recommendations for the improvement of sites’ health and safety systems.

Emergency Response

We ensure procedures and resources are in place to effectively respond to potential emergency situations. Every New Gold mine and project site maintains emergency response teams comprised of individuals who have taken the internationally recognized Incident Command System (ICS) training. New Gold sites hold regular emergency response and crisis management exercises and drills. All site-based emergency response activities are supported by the New Gold Corporate Crisis Management Plan, which meets international standards and best practices.

Injury Frequency Rates

Injury Frequency Rates bar graph
  • Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR)1
  • Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR)2
1.

Lost-Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) is the number of lost-time injuries per 200,000 hours worked. (Lost-Time Injuries x 200,000 hours) ÷ total hours worked.

2.

Total Reportable Injury Frequency Rate (TRIFR) is the number of injuries per 200,000 hours worked. (Lost-Time Injuries + Medical Treatment Injuries + Restricted Duties Injuries) x 200,000 hours ÷ total hours worked.