Preventing Occupational Illness //
Mining activities have the potential to expose our workforce to a number of occupational health hazards, which could lead to serious illness or injury if not identified, eliminated (where possible), or controlled. Our occupational health systems play a critical role in our health and safety efforts, and are designed to avoid or limit our workers’ exposure to harmful substances or situations that could lead to occupational illnesses or disease. No occupational illnesses were presented at any of our sites in 2016.
To prevent occupational illnesses, we conduct regular risk assessments and implement risk-control programs, and we provide education and prevention training at all of our operations. Our health and safety committees assist with the management and minimization of these potential occupational exposures. We continually strive to improve noise and dust control. We conduct monitoring at each site to prevent exposure to chemical and physical hazards inherent to the work environment. Additionally, we have special procedures for handling hazardous materials such as cyanide. We perform random testing at the beginning of shifts to enforce our zero-tolerance policy for alcohol-related accidents.
Twice per year we monitor bio-markers (lead-in-blood and other blood chemistry) of our employees who work in labs or the smelting facilities. We also monitor specific health indicators for all employees relating to organ function or other aspects of work-related health, such as lower back testing, as part of the occupational health and safety strategy implemented by each of our sites. Because of Guanaceví’s remote location, a second doctor was hired in 2016 to ensure there is always a medical practitioner on site.
Each of our mines regularly conducts health campaigns for their employees to support general health awareness and healthy lifestyle options – both inside and outside of the workplace. In addition to regular vaccination campaigns, these include lung screening, prostate tests, blood tests, cholesterol checks, breast cancer screening, anti-smoking education, nutrition and healthy eating choices, how to prevent tetanus, pneumonia, diabetes, and hypertension, and a series of topics specific to women’s health. Seasonal health campaigns may focus on flu in the winter and zika or dengue during the rainy season.
Periodic medical exams are provided for employees – both general medical exams and more specific exams based on their type of work. In 2016, the procedures for periodic exams and initial medical exams were standardized across all three operations, along with the indicators used by the medical department to monitor activities and progress. These indicators are now part of our regular health and safety monitoring.
All sites have been involved with the PREVENIMSS program, a government preventive health program that includes health check-ups and campaigns to prevent common diseases.
Juan Pablo Perez: Occupational Health and Safety Superintendent, Bolañitos
“I feel good knowing that through our consistent efforts we have prevented risks and avoided accidents. I enjoy the open communication I have with my team and it is very rewarding to train others in learning these new skills.”
Juan Pablo holds a Certificate in Emergency Services. He started with Endeavour as a paramedic and over eight years has been steadily promoted to positions of increasing expertise and responsibility. Juan and his team (and in general all departments) share a common understanding of the importance and responsibility that everyone has in our safety culture, and they are constantly looking for ways in which to improve. Our strong safety record over the past five years is the result of the collaboration between departments and the implementation of safe occupational work practices.
At Endeavour, Juan has found good people to work with, excellent workplace communication, availability of people to support him, and learning opportunities to grow personally and professionally. He is a strong example of an employee who has had the opportunity to grow in his job and constantly learn to better lead the safety team while achieving the goals of the business.