We are determined to encourage a motivated, competent and productive workforce and see the provision of a healthy and safe workplace as a top priority.
“Our policy is to recruit local people and then to develop their potential through learning opportunities and effective performance management.”
We believe that local people are our key resource. By prioritising recruitment from those communities affected by our mines we gain an effective and good value workforce, encourage succession planning, reduce skills shortages and build positive links with those communities.
Our human resources management framework is designed to provide a workforce that has the skills, flexibility and diversity to meet the company’s current and future business needs in West and Central Africa.
Our policy is to recruit local people and then to develop their potential through learning opportunities and effective performance management. The process for each employee starts with psychometric testing during the recruitment process and is then constantly measured and managed through regular performance assessments. Our human resources operational teams at each site ensure that all people management issues are dealt with effectively and in accordance with company policies.
Our recruitment policy prioritises local community members and host country citizens and if the required skills are not locally available, we seek to fill positions from elsewhere within Africa if possible.
Staff levels increased in 2011, reflecting the increase of activity at the Loulo and Kibali sites. By the end of 2011, the Randgold group employed a total of 1 406 operational staff (see table alongside). Of these, 92% were nationals ie employees from the country of operation. Among senior positions, 75% are occupied by nationals.
“Our entire operational workforce are members of trade unions.”
As part of an ongoing assessment of staffing needs at the Morila and Loulo mines, 79 employees were let go this year. All attempts were made to relocate these employees to other operations.
Our belief in real partnership means we welcome the role of unions and representative committees at all our operations. We believe this strengthens our ‘pact with labour’. Our entire operational workforce (100%) are members of trade unions and local mine shop stewards are present in quarterly board meetings and regular management meetings.
This year we have given particular focus to improving communications with unions and this has shown positive results on the operations where meetings with representative bodies were held on a scheduled and systematic basis.
The industrial relations climate at all our operations was calm this year with no strikes or lock-outs exceeding one week’s duration. In 2011, two days of industrial action occurred at Tongon where the union embarked on an illegal stay-away in spite of all national and regional labour authorities opposing the strike action. Employees
slowly returned to work during the strike action as greater numbers became aware of the illegality of their actions. Other reportable incidents in 2011 include three strikes among sub-contractors at Kibali and a two-hour stoppage at Loulo.
Training and education: how we develop people
We work in remote areas where access to formal education and experience of industry is often limited. As our emphasis is on the recruitment of local people who are affected by our operations, this means that we have to do a lot more training than many of our competitors who do not operate in such remote areas. Our
training and development strategies are therefore vital and have to be unique to prepare all employees for both their current and future roles. At the outset we select people to work with us by using a variety of selection tools, including a learning ability battery to assess the learning ability of illiterate job seekers.
For new mines being developed, training at the outset consists of ‘shadow skills training’. This involves employees of new mines moving to an existing mine for a period to learn the ropes from experienced operators. This shadow skills training is reinforced on the trainee’s own mine during commissioning, when the trainee
receives coaching from trained operators who come from an existing mine, to do this follow-up training, prior to the start-up of production. Supervisory, technical and management training and development are delivered by a mixture of action learning, ie onthe-job structured training and formal training courses held both on site and externally.
“We are also working with partners to help establish the African School of Mines in Bamako.”
World class specialists are often used to assist the company with technical problems. When these specialists are on site we ask them to also undertake training for our technical staff as part of their time commitments. Finally, we have specialist training consultants based at every mine site. Every employee can have a say in the training and development gaps they perceive they have. Their opinions on this are captured as part of the annual ‘performance appraisal’ exercise. We sponsor major development courses through a series of scholarships and other funding mechanisms
appropriate to the development being undertaken.
Randgold practises a culture of constant learning and we encourage both our ‘semi-skilled’ and ‘skilled’ employees to engage in formal and informal training whenever possible. This is a fundamental part of our approach to managing our workforce
and because the majority of our workforce is undergoing training and development of some sort at any one time, it makes total levels of training difficult to quantify.
We manage numerous formal training interventions across all our operations. These include cyanide safety, hazardous substances, first aid, metallurgy processes, community development, engineering maintenance, electrical and mechanical practice, air conditioner repair, occupational health, computer literacy, supervision, electrical competency, union capacity-building and business understanding for employee representatives. These formal training courses were attended by 421 employees in 2011.
As part of our commitment to local skills development over the long term we are also working with partners to help establish the African School of Mines (ASM), based in Bamako, the capital of Mali. The facility will help train West and Sub-Saharan African
students in the technical skills needed to satisfy the increasingly high-skills demands of the mining industry in Africa. As part of our wider commitment to raising educational standards in the countries where we operate we also regularly invite lecturers and students from local universities and technical colleges onto the mine sites for study purposes.
“We are committed to providing the safest possible working environment for our employees and have a goal to operate a serious-injury and fatality-free business.”
Safety: Our responsibility to employees
Safety is a key business risk and a priority for all our operations. Our goal is to operate a serious-injury and fatality-free business and we are committed to providing the safest possible working environment for our employees. Our health and safety policies are the same for both contractors and our employees. This year, we have linked safety performance to remuneration policies at the highest level. In 2011, a 10% target in reducing the LTIFR was set and, again in 2012, a further 10% reduction is targeted.
The heart of our safety policy is personal responsibility. We believe that all individuals must take ownership and accountability for creating a safe environment and not leave it to a safety officer. Employees are also free to refuse to do something without
reprimand if they think it’s unsafe and are encouraged to challenge supervisors or middle managers on safety issues. Each worker also undergoes health and safety training modules, such as induction and cyanide training and has a ‘toolbox’ safety briefing every morning.
We use OHSAS 18001, the occupational health and safety management standards, as a guide for health and safety practices at our operations. Our Morila mine is compliant with OHSAS 18001, and we aim to have Tongon and Loulo certified as OHSAS 18001
compliant in 2012 and all our currently active mines compliant by 2013.
We recognise that maintaining high safety standards and delivering on our safety goals is hugely challenging. All phases of a mine, whether it be design, construction, operations or closure, present challenges and high safety performance can only be achieved through a constant focus on improving management systems and controls, learning from those accidents and incidents that do occur, and ensuring that all employees take personal responsibility for their safety and that of their colleagues.
Despite all of our efforts, we did not achieve our goal of being a serious-injury and fatality-free business in 2011. Tragically, three employees lost their lives in workplace incidents: Batieba Doumbia, Gountoko hauling supervisor; Salif Sawadogo, a Gounkoto contractor; and Yeo Siriki, a contractor at the Tongon mine.
We understand that fatalities can be described by statistics but cannot be understood by statistics, and we pass our condolences on to the families involved. Any fatality is unacceptable and we investigate each incident fully, report to the board and undertake remedial actions to improve safety systems. Two of the fatalities occurred on transportation routes outside of the mine while the third occurred when Mr Siriki drowned in a dewatering sump. Following this accident the safety committee on the mine has enforced the procedure for obtaining water from such dewatering holes and placed a rope and a safety float that employees must wear when loading their water carts.
In addition to the three fatalities, we also had 19 LTIs across the group’s operations (these are incidents where the individual involved is unable to perform his or her duties for at least one day).
The group’s operational safety data is presented in a table on the previous page. Given the year-to-year increase in the number of operational mines and the corresponding increase in the number of employees, we are pleased with our progress towards our safety goals. We are encouraged by the dramatic decrease in the number of shifts lost to injuries from 2010 to 2011 at the Tongon mine and with Morila mine’s major achievement of zero incidences of LTIs in 2011. The increase in the LTI number at Loulo is disappointing, and will be an area of focus in 2012. Management has implemented increased safety awareness programmes across the Loulo operation to counter the negative trend. The increase in construction activity and workers at the Kibali project resulted in a rise in LTIs year on year. However, here too the LTIFR decreased from 2010 to 2011 and as the year progressed a concerted safety
drive led to an improvement in the safety statistics.
In 2011, Randgold incurred no safety fines or prosecutions.
The development of talent will remain an integral part of all our operations, and particular focus will be given to the Kibali and Gountoko projects in 2012 as they move towards their next phase of development in the coming year.
Work to make all currently operational mines compliant with OHSAS 18001 by 2013 will be a priority for next year. We will also look to apply the OHSAS standard to future mines.
At site level, we will focus particularly on Gounkoto where two fatalities occurred in 2011 and on reducing the number of serious ‘near miss’ incidents across the board.