Occupational health

OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH

Our policies

Many parts of the gold mining process expose our employees to occupational health hazards such as dust inhalation or noise exposure. If left unchecked, these issues can develop into serious health problems for our workers. For example, without proper controls in place long term exposure to high levels of silica or diesel particulate matter can lead to respiratory illnesses like occupational asthma, pneumoconiosis, silicosis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – though symptoms may not appear for years. 

To prevent and manage these risks we take a number of steps, including regular site risk assessments, engineering controls such as dust collection systems and ventilation systems and use of PPE. We regularly monitor occupational hygiene levels to ensure adequate control measures are in place, and adjust them where necessary. These efforts are complemented with regular medical checks for all employees, including prior to employment and at exit. 

Our annual medical checks monitor for musculoskeletal disorders, loss of hearing, respiratory and breathing issues such as silicosis and tuberculosis. Staff who are potentially exposed to chemicals and heavy metals also receive biological and radiation testing.

Case study

INTRODUCING HEPATITIS B SCREENING

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver disease and is recognised in the SDGs as a major global health problem. It is estimated that 240 million people around the world are infected and nearly 700 000 deaths a year are linked to the disease. Sub-Saharan Africa suffers some of the highest Hepatitis B prevalence rates in the world, for example in Mali the prevalence rate is estimated to be 14.5%.

People suffering from Hepatitis B often experience flu like symptoms such as fever, tiredness, vomiting and diarrhoea, which can either prevent them from working or have negative impacts on concentration and effectiveness. However the disease can be inoculated against and the infection can be managed with drugs – it won’t cure it but will slow its progress and improve the quality of life and reduce rates of liver cancer for sufferers.

Eager to protect our workforce from the disease, we introduced voluntary Hepatitis B testing across our Malian mines in 2016. Those that tested negative were offered inoculation against the disease, those who tested positive offered access to drugs and treatment. In total we tested 3 157 workers and found a prevalence rate of 12.5%. Subsequently, 98.7% of those who tested negative have been inoculated and 163 people have been referred for treatment.

We plan to introduce Hepatitis B testing at Kibali and Tongon in 2017.

 

Tests

Positive cases

Prevalence

 Inoculations

Referred for treatment

Morila

713

108

14.8%

573

101

Loulo

1490

217

14.6%

1 257

35

Gounkoto

936

72

7.7%

522

27

TOTAL

3157

397

12.6%

2 352

163

 

Sustainability report
(English, PDF, 169.2 KB)