Continuously Improving Mine Safety and Health with Barrick Gold

The U.S. mining industry is going beyond what is required by regulation to bring more miners home safely after every shift. The goal? Zero fatalities. Zero injuries.

Over the past six years, the people at Barrick Gold’s Turquoise Ridge Joint Venture mine have worked to revolutionize the operation’s safety culture. Long touted as Nevada’s widow maker mine, Turquoise Ridge was famous for its extremely poor ground conditions and poor safety performance.

However, as of December 2015, the mine had reached 876 consecutive days without a lost time accident and continues without a lost time accident today. And what is perhaps more impressive is that over the same period Turquoise Ridge increased its production from 424,698 tons to 662,273 tons. This achievement underscores that production and safety are strongly connected and working safely does not require compromising production.

Barrick is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy workplace and contributes some of its success to the high level of communication between management and all employees. Site leaders make themselves available across all areas of operation to ensure employees questions are always answered. Regular safety interactions are held not only in safety meetings and pre-shift line ups, but also in numerous face to face interactions in the workplace. Management has placed a great deal of emphasis on opening lines of communication so that workplace hazards and issues can be openly addressed and solutions generated and enacted quickly and efficiently.

Nigel Bain TR

And this effort does not go unnoticed. Turquoise Ridge General Manager Nigel Bain won the 2016 International Society of Mine Safety Professionals’ Leadership award for demonstrating exceptional leadership in safety, health and the environment. In addition, the society recognized the entire mine with a “Recognition of Internal Achievement Award.”