Health & Safety
Occupational health and safety (H&S) is an essential element of Polyus’ Sustainability strategy and we are constantly taking steps to improve our approach and performance.
Our Health, Safety and Environment policy is binding for both contractors and company staff.
A high standard of health, safety and environment (HSE) is one of Polyus’ basic selection criteria for contractors (see the Standard on relations with contractors in HSE). Polyus requires all of its contractors to adhere to the Company’s safety rules.
As the first Russian company to join the International Council on Mining and Metal (ICMM), Polyus made a commitment to follow ICMM Principle 5 — Pursue continual improvement in health and safety performance.
We are continuously evaluating and improving the safety levels at our facilities. The basis of our approach is controlling the key risk factors: exposure to equipment/machinery and hand tools; falling from a height; electric shocks; road accidents.
Polyus’ H&S management model is focused on preventing the re-occurrence of any near-miss incidents, accidents or other hazardous situations. All contingencies related to equipment performance or transgressive staff behaviour are thoroughly reviewed to ensure that the causes are fully identified and measures can be developed for further prevention.
Polyus is currently introducing an automated control system for HSE data and processes which will guarantee full transparency and information availability. Consistent monitoring and regular data analysis are fundamental to running an efficient HSE management system.
Polyus has developed a corporate Integrated HSE Management System, which is fully integrated into the business.
All of our mining assets have been certified against ISO 45001 and are regularly audited to validate their certification.
LTI frequency rate (LTIFR) 2020 – 0.10
Automotive accident rate (AARK) 2020 – 0.19
At Polyus, we believe that no economic, technical or other considerations should come before compliance with safety requirements. We are taking steps to ensure that every one of our colleagues understands and adheres to this approach.
A large-scale safety culture improvement program was launched at all of Polyus’ production assets in 2012. Its goal is to ensure that every employee is aware of his or her responsibility to operate safely and mind the safety of their colleagues. As part of the programme, Polyus developed its Golden Safety Rules: a clear and efficient code of conduct designed to minimize occupational injuries.
- Fasten seat belt and do not use cell phones
- Use appropriate personal protective equipment
- Follow the requirements of policies, standards and procedures
- Complete all regular training sessions and be in possession of all required work permits
- Assess risks before work
- Stop work if you notice any noncompliance and report hazardous situations
- Check contractors’ skills and permits
We believe that every employee should be encouraged to make a personal contribution towards improving the company’s safety culture and to learn new HSE skills. Polyus offers both material and non-material incentives towards this.
Top management involvement
Polyus’ management plays an important role in setting the right example and building our corporate safety culture. The company has developed a special HSE Leadership programme which includes the corporate HSE Leadership Standard. To implement this Standard, the following programmes are carried out:
- Training for top, middle and line managers
- Developing and monitoring target performance indicators for managers
- KPS that include an assessment of personal leadership achievements
Managing the safety culture successfully requires an integrated monitoring and assessment system. Polyus uses the globally recognized Bradley curve to illustrate progress.
The Bradley curve portrays the evolution of the safety culture and the efficiency of the HSE system. The curve assesses the transition from external control to a conscious attitude on the part of each employee towards labour safety. The Bradley curve considers several safety culture indicators: management commitment, procedures and standards, responsibility of line managers, motivation and involvement, training, audits, investigations, etc.
Average safety culture level according to the Bradley curve in 2015-2020 and 2021 target
Occupational safety is a crucial consideration for any business. At Polyus we ultimately strive to achieve a zero-injury rate.
Polyus has developed and launched a complex Injury Prevention Programme based on the key risks typical to the gold mining industry.
One element of the Programme involves regular behaviour-based safety audits aimed at identifying potentially unsafe behaviour and using data to shape positive professional behaviour patterns in the workplace.
Thanks to consistent monitoring, we are able to identify basic workplace risk factors and take preventive measures, including holding lectures and training sessions.
At Polyus we also take the health of our employees very seriously. Our health protection philosophy has three basic elements:
- Occupational hygiene and sanitation — assessing and managing working environment risks
- Occupational medicine — monitoring employee health
- Health culture — encouraging employees to lead a healthy lifestyle
Every day, workers at all of Polyus’ business units undergo pre-shift and pre-trip medical examinations in special automated modules.
Within a few minutes, these modules are able to check a dozen different indicators to determine the employee’s general condition and fitness for work.
We undertake a number of initiatives across our business units on a regular basis, including:
- Awareness campaigns to prevent the risk of strokes and heart attacks
- Basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation training
- Vaccinations for flu and tick-borne encephalitis
- Initiatives to reduce the risk of occupational illness, including providing vouchers for health resorts and treatment centres
Gold mining involves working in potentially hazardous environments.
Polyus works to minimize the risk factors at every stage of the production cycle, starting from the design and construction. We also closely monitor the equipment and machines operating in our pits and ensure that the appropriate maintenance and repair works are carried out on a timely basis. Industrial safety audits are conducted regularly at potentially hazardous production facilities.
We are committed to preventing and minimizing the risks associated with industrial and natural disasters. The scale of damage following a potential incident depends directly on how quickly decisions are made and whether the correct measures are taken. Therefore, Polyus drafts Action plans on accident damage control and recovery every year.
We also regularly conduct emergency drills to improve response processes and behaviour in emergency situations. These drills also involve the participation of public emergency and rescue services.
Polyus also has separate wildfire prevention plans which are practiced on a regular basis.
Polyus operates more than one hundred vehicles and large mining machines on a daily basis across its sites.
The Company’s transportation safety is regulated by the Transportation Safety Policy and the Standard on Transportation Safety.
Our fleet is constantly being modernised and upgraded with advanced traffic monitoring and management systems. The majority of our vehicles are equipped with on-board monitoring systems that track traffic online and identify any deviation from the prescribed routes. The machines are equipped with three-point safety belts and rear-view cameras to reduce safety risks.
To reduce the number of road accidents, we regularly hold training sessions and campaigns to raise awareness. All drivers complete an obligatory defensive driving course to master skills for driving in bad weather conditions and road emergencies.
Polyus has introduced a highly efficient HSE learning and training system.
The system comprises two major types of training programmes: legally required training and corporate training
Both Polyus’ employees and contractors are obliged to participate in relevant training programmes.
Corporate training includes the following programmes:
- HSE minimum training
- Safety culture and injury prevention
- Leadership, risk assessment and accident investigation for line managers and engineers
- Defensive driving
- First aid; strokes and heart attacks; cardiopulmonary resuscitation
- Environmental protection for managers, engineers and blue-collar workers (starting from 4Q 2018)
Training sessions are run at Polyus training centres by corporate and by contracted trainers. Certain programs are launched through OLIMPOKS, a digital learning and controlling platform. Trainees study theory and learn practical skills.