Significant progress was made on our operating mines across the group in 2010 in improving safety and health and eliminating fatalities on our sites. The Fatal Injury Frequency Rate (FIFR) improved by 77% from 0.57 in 2009 to 0.13 in 2010. Unfortunately, however, one such injury did occur at Loulo on 11 January 2010 when an employee of a local sub-contractor lost control of the machine he was operating. The machine fell on its side and the operator sustained a wound to his head. He was treated on the scene and at the mine trauma centre by the mine's medical officer. Once stabilised he was evacuated to Bamako for further hospital care but he succumbed to his injury and passed away on 27 January 2010.
In 2010 all injury rates improved significantly with the Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LITFR) improving by 46% from 2.15 in 2009 to 1.17 in 2010, the Minor Injury Frequency Rate (MIFR) down by 57% from 29.87 in 2009 to 12.76 in 2010 and the Total Injury Frequency Rate (TIFR) improved by 56%.
During the year, a standardised health and safety reporting format, agreed by all the medical officers, was introduced across the group. The safety statistics produced comply with OHSAS 18001 and industry best practice. Morila maintained its OHSAS 18001 accreditation and work has been ongoing during 2010 in conjunction with NOSA consultants in preparing Loulo to become OHSAS 18001 accredited in the latter half of 2011. Work has also commenced at Tongon on preparing the mine for OHSAS 18001 accreditation expected in 2012.
Daily 'toolbox' meetings are held in all workplaces across the company's mines to constantly remind employees of the need for each employee to be safety conscious. These meetings are based on a principle of personal responsibility with regard to safety where the onus is transferred to the individual to practice a high level of safety in the workplace.
Trends cannot yet be determined at Tongon and Kibali which were, during the year, in transition from 'construction to operational' and from 'exploration to construction' stages respectively.
A survey of 'Health and Safety Reporting in FTSE 100 Mining Companies' conducted during 2010 by Transparent Consulting for the Observer newspaper in London, while critical of the industry, showed that Randgold Resources had the second lowest (best) Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate (LTIFR) of the FTSE 100 mining companies surveyed.
During 2010, the group medical officers agreed a standard set of health guidelines for the group. These include standardised community healthcare, disease (including malaria, yellow fever and HIV/AIDS) control and occupational health guidelines. The purpose of the exercise was to engender a common understanding of the group's health strategy, especially among the medical officers at Tongon and Kibali, who are new to Randgold and whose mines are in transition stages from 'construction to operational' and from 'exploration to construction' respectively. The aim is to improve the delivery of primary health care (including disease prevention) to those most affected villages surrounding the group's projects across all its operations and projects, and the delivery of occupational and other health care to all its employees.
Randgold aims to achieve continuous improvement by continuously sharing the expertise, experience and knowledge of its medical staff in reviewing the efficiency and effectiveness of health services delivery at regular group medical forums. The objective is to improve the general health and wellbeing of the area and its workforce and therefore to reduce costs associated with disease care, injury treatment and associated lost-time.
Malaria remains a most significant health risk and during the wet season is the highest potential cause of lost time for Randgold's operations as well as having an adverse effect on the local population, especially the young children, pregnant women and older members of the community.
The group's operations continued to perform annual entomological surveys to determine the most effective insecticide to use in the multiple spraying programmes that are carried out annually on each site as well as in surrounding villages. In addition, vulnerable people in villages such as children and old people are provided with impregnated mosquito nets. This year in Mali, both Loulo and Morila used the services of the MRTC (Malaria Research and Training Centre) to carry out their annual entomological survey in a situation where vectors were displaying an increased resistance to the insecticides being used.
Tongon and Kibali utilised the services of South African based entomologists from Wits University. Using the findings from such studies, spraying programmes are being designed and implemented in mining, construction and exploration camps and in local villages. The annual incidence of cases for 100 workers was 30.68% (895 cases) at Loulo, down from 30.93% (741 cases) in 2009, and was 26.69% (1 200 cases) at Morila, up from 20.79% (1 121 cases) in 2009 and 11.1% at Tongon, where there were no comparable figures for 2009.
Awareness and education of employees and local communities on HIV/AIDS and its prevention is another important health issue addressed at all of our sites. This year special awareness events were held at each mine on World Aids Day and employees and villagers are encouraged to come forward for voluntary testing.
Company clinics treat employees, employees' dependants and people from the local communities. Over 80 000 consultations take place at our clinics each year and just under half relate to local villagers while the rest concern employees or their dependants. In addition, our medical staff assist agencies such as the host governments and the World Health Organisation to innoculate the population in the areas in which we operate against diseases such as polio and yellow fever.
Medical baseline studies were completed at Kibali and Gounkoto during the year by Newfields International Medical Consultants and by Institut de Formation et de Gestion -IFG- Bamako, respectively.