Eliminate unsafe workplace conditions and behaviours
Manage our knowledge
Group policy is to put the life of our personnel above all else. We have zero tolerance rules that absolutely prohibit any deviation from the Group's safety rules and procedures. We consider safety a core value and a way of life. Our commitment is to offer a safe workplace to our workers and contractors, and we aspire to a safety culture where our workers and contractors have the knowledge, competence and desire to work safely.
Our strategy is based on managing our knowledge of safety, engaging our stakeholders through the “No More Accidents” programme, and launching initiatives to embed safety in our culture. Effective Safety Management Systems are essential to support compliance and standardise processes, action plans and communication. We seek to certify all our business units in OHSAS 18001 and the Self-Managed Safety Programme of the Mexican Labour Ministry.
Manage our knowledge
Our approach aims at pre-emptively identifying and managing the safety risks to which our workforce is exposed. Our training programme takes into consideration the risk exposure of our workers and contractors in order to develop their knowledge and competence to work safely. In order to identify and correct systemic nonconformities, the corporate safety team implements “situational assessments” in all our business units that lead to specific action plans with clear deadlines and accountabilities. Additionally, our controls and supporting tools are regularly assessed to ensure they remain effective.
Engage our stakeholders: "No More Accidents" programme
The “No More Accidents” initiative became a permanent programme to engage our stakeholders in order to reinforce a safety culture. Components of the programme include:
» Leadership and Commitment
We expect our managers, union representatives and contractors to have a leadership role in our safety culture. Once local union representatives are elected they participate in our training workshops aimed at developing safety leadership; accountability of our managers and contractors is monitored through situational assessments and compliance audits. Our entire workforce is represented by formal Health & Safety (H&S) Commissions, who play a leadership role in the field. H&S Commissions also investigate the causes of accidents/occupational diseases, determine their preventive measures, and monitor compliance. Management, unionised employees and contractors are represented in these commissions. We support our contractors in enrolling in the Mexican Labour Ministry’s voluntary Self-Managed Safety Programme, whose main objective is to encourage a self-evaluation culture and continuous improvement mindset through the implementation of health & safety management systems. Companies participating in the programme can significantly reduce the number of mandated safety inspections.
» Behavioural change
Human factors are involved in the majority of incidents and accidents. Rushing, frustration, fatigue and complacency lead to unintentional errors that increase the risk of injuries on or off the job. Fresnillo engages its workforce with three initiatives: i) DuPont’s SafeStart programme reinforces safety awareness and develops specific critical error reduction techniques (CERTs) to decrease the risk of injury; each unit has a team responsible for implementation, and the programme has been launched at Fresnillo, Saucito and Ciénega; ii) the STOP (Stop, Think, Observe and Plan) programme teaches that all accidents can be prevented and promotes risk monitoring for all processes, emphasising the responsibility of the chain of command to detect and immediately remediate unsafe conditions; and iii) Behavioural Change workshops, facilitated by psychologists, provide guidance and counsel on handling personal issues that may cause distractions that lead to accidents.
» Operational discipline
Discipline in safety means doing the right thing all the time. This programme includes several phases: making procedures available, assuring the quality of the procedures, training and communication, evaluation of work cycles, and continuous improvement. Our units are reaching the fourth phase, evaluation of work cycles.
» Rules that save lives
We aim to embed rules that save lives – those deemed safety-critical – into our safety culture; we have a regular process to review these rules and propose the inclusion of new ones.
» Comprehensive accident investigation
Root cause analysis, applied methodically, allows us to derive valuable insights from accidents; outcomes are communicated to all business units in order to prevent similar accidents.
» Safety culture
Routinely monitored to assess the attitudes, behaviours and disciplined elimination of unsafe conditions.
» Emergency response plans and drills
We have reviewed our emergency response manuals, trained senior managers to manage crises, and conducted drills across our operations to evaluate performance.
» Safe Cyanide Management
Cyanide is a chemical compound extremely effective in dissolving gold from its ore, and is widely used for that purpose in our industry in a process called cyanide leaching. However, in high concentrations cyanide can be toxic to humans and many living organisms. Responsible management of cyanide is critical to ensure the safety of our people, contractors, neighbouring communities and the environment. We apply strict health and safety measures to prevent spills and any exposure of our workforce to cyanide. Likewise, we train our response teams to contain accidental releases and respond to any incidents of exposure. The Herradura mine is certified in the Cyanide Code, which sets out best practices for transporting, storing, using, and disposing of cyanide, as developed by the International Cyanide Management Institute (ICMI).