Improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of our people
Strategic focus: Preventive Healthcare
Our people are our most valuable asset. The health and wellbeing of our workers is fundamental to protecting their safety and driving productivity. We strive to keep our people healthy and prevent occupational diseases.
Our approach aims to pre-emptively identify and manage health risks to which our workforce is exposed. Preventive care and the promotion of healthier lifestyles can limit certain chronic diseases and enhance overall wellness and fitness for work. While our focus is set on prevention, emergency preparedness is a core competence of our health teams across our business units. We work closely with local authorities and support health initiatives in the communities where we operate.
We seek to prevent, detect and treat work-related illnesses amongst our employees and contractors. The main occupational health risks we address relate to the following: inhalable hazards (mainly emissions and dust), noise, fatigue, ergonomic stress, vibrations, light, heat stress, lead exposure, contact with or exposure to chemicals, dehydration, venomous snakes and spiders. We monitor employee health at regular check-ups and test for occupational diseases. We utilise Alert-On randomly or methodically, based on job profile, to detect alcohol and drugs, as well as to evaluate fitness for work in critical activities such as high elevations or in mine shaft elevators by testing vital signs, vision and glucose levels among others. We also monitor blood lead levels for those working in areas with risk of exposure.
Our health teams are Certified Occupational Hearing Conservationists (CAOHC), and trained in radiological protection (during X-rays), image interpretation of pneumoconiosis, and spirometric interpretation (respiratory capacity) by the American Thoracic Society (ATS). In addition, our team are certified lead auditors under ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.
Emergency preparedness and response
Our health departments treat any work-related injuries (concussions, burns, lacerations, broken limbs, dehydration, etc.) and respond to general health emergencies. In addition, our paramedics are trained on rope rescue, confined space rescue, fire suppression, hazardous materials and cyanide emergencies. To practice, rescue teams participate in drills organised as part of the emergency response plans. In addition, our teams also participate in rescue competitions organised by the Mining Chamber of Mexico. As part of responsible cyanide management at Penmont, we work with health authorities and civil protection organisations, including the fire department and Red Cross, in the neighbouring municipality of Caborca to respond effectively to any cyanide emergency. We have an agreement with a private hospital in Caborca to respond to cyanide-related medical emergencies.
Preventive health, wellness and healthier lifestyles
Prevention delivers multiple social and economic benefits. We seek to prevent chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure, seasonal illnesses such as influenza, and psychosocial diseases such as stress and burnout. Thus we also screen for these during regular check-ups, particularly diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity, which are widespread in Mexico and require monitoring and treatment in order to work safely. Our Healthy Lifestyles programme supports good food habits and the prevention and control of obesity-related diseases. Women receive breast and cervical cancer screening, and we launched a campaign to raise awareness of these diseases. All employees over 50 have access to free annual health check-ups. We provide influenza vaccinations and vision tests that include prescription safety glasses. We also introduced a psychosocial survey as part of regular check-ups. Our Behavioural Change workshops, facilitated by psychologists, address stress and personal issues that could compromise awareness in the workplace and lead to accidents. We continue to seek the Healthy Company and Smoke-Free Company certifications for all our units.
We operate in some communities where access to healthcare is a stakeholder concern. We partner with health authorities on vaccination campaigns and breast and cervical cancer screenings, and engage communities to raise awareness of child obesity, dietary habits and personal hygiene, among other topics. We also support some communities with emergency health care.
To support access to dental and optometry care, we partner with the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) Foundation and sponsor health weeks during which Foundation doctors provide free health care and we support logistics, providing complementary glasses and transportation for communities. We also engage national health authorities to complete vaccination schemes and other health care services. This programme has provided close to 9,000+ free medical consultations to our neighbouring communities at Ciénega, Fresnillo/Saucito and Penmont.