We are committed to the responsible care of our employees, contractors and communities – in fact, it’s our first priority.
The safety and wellbeing of our people and the communities in which we work is at the heart of our entire business operation.
Responding to legislation
In 2015 a major change to health and safety legislation took place in New Zealand with the passing of the Health and Safety at Work Act. We welcomed the leadership shown by the New Zealand government to raise the profile of ‘Working Safer’ in all industries, including mining.
As a result, all of our employees are given comprehensive health and safety training as part of a culture that emphasises trust, respect and safety awareness. And we continually monitor the health and safety performance of our operations to ensure safe working practices are clearly understood and accurately followed.
Bathurst is focussed on our journey to align our existing health and safety practices and behaviours with these major legislative reforms. Clear improvements have been made at Bathurst to address capacity and capability in our health and safety system but we know there is always room for improvement.
We understand that safe production is an outcome of workers across all levels of the business sharing the responsibility to increase awareness, knowledge and competence in managing our workplace health and safety.
A key focus has been more effective worker engagement and participation – to ensure we communicate with our people more often and more effectively. So we’ve produced a new corporate standard to:
- provide more structure for worker engagement
- increase the number of our health and safety representatives
- increase the number of site safety meetings , and
- prepare formal site health and safety committees at each site (regardless of the number of mine workers).
And helping everyone to improve
An important aspect of the new mining regulations has been to increase the training for all mine managers and supervisors. This gives them a far better understanding of the critical safety factors that affect the mining industry.
Site senior executive roles have also been created at each mine site. And the completion of external and internal health and safety training for these roles is a prerequisite. We’re also upskilling our managers and supervisors of the future by training them to obtain new certificates of competency and formal qualifications.