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Safety and Health //

Why It Matters

Our sustainability in the mining business hinges on having a safe work environment and a healthy workforce. Minimizing the risks of both acute incidents and long-term health impacts are critical to making our employees and contractors feel safe, confident and more productive on the job. The need for continuous attention to safety is particularly important in our industry, as all forms of mining, especially underground mines, involve safety hazards and health risks by nature.

Management Approach

Safety practices

Our goal is a workplace free from fatalities and lost-time accidents, and we work hard to ensure our safety practices are both effective and constantly improving. To achieve this, we have a number of initiatives in place. For example, we:

  • Maintain rigorous safety procedures, controls and standards, as summarized in the Endeavour Health and Safety Policy.
  • Provide personal protective equipment and safety signage, continuously monitor air quality to ensure good ventilation and, to prevent rock falls and cave-ins, support broken ground with steel sets and shotcrete.
  • Conduct frequent safety inspections and audits across our mining sites, to find and address potential hazards before injuries occur.
  • Strive to understand the underlying causes of workplace injuries to ensure we focus on the right safety measures.

Employee engagement

Employee engagement is imperative to safe behaviour and creating a safe work environment. As part of having a strong safety culture, we believe and communicate that safety is everyone’s responsibility and we work in partnership with our people to continually educate them and reinforce the importance of working safely.

Prior to starting work at Endeavour, all employees and contractors participate in a three-day induction program that has a major focus on workplace safety and their responsibility in ensuring safety for all. We also provide continuous training and hands-on discussions about safety equipment, key steps in performing a task and how to recognize and resolve potential safety concerns.

Health and wellness

We care about the broader health and wellness of our people, and we work hard to prevent illnesses that can result from mining activities. Occupational health risks include exposure to noise, dust, emissions and gases. Among our wellness efforts, we support various initiatives including:

  • Monitoring drug and alcohol levels to ensure there are no impaired workers
  • Monitoring bio-markers (lead-in-blood and other blood chemistry) of our employees who work in labs or smelting facilities (twice per year), as well as monitor specific health indicators for all employees relating to organ function or other aspects of work-related health such as lower back testing
  • Maintaining a doctor onsite at each mine to care for workers’ health needs
  • Providing medical exams for employees at all three operating mines, holding regular vaccination campaigns and offering lung screening, prostate tests, cholesterol checks and other types of health screening
  • Running health campaigns to promote health awareness and healthy lifestyles
  • Monitoring each site to prevent exposure to chemical and physical hazards, and maintaining special procedures for handling hazardous materials such as cyanide

Oversight

We have a safety coordinator plus safety managers at each of our three operating mines. Additionally, there are safety committees/groups at each site dedicated to activities such as safety talks, suggestions and reminders, mine rescue, aboveground emergencies and operational discipline. Endeavour’s Safety and Hygiene Commission, mandated by Mexican law, meets regularly to audit facilities for safety and health, identify areas of opportunity or concern, and devise a timely and appropriate follow-up plan for any issues.

Emergency preparedness

Each of our operations has emergency response plans and teams in place for our mines. All of our employees and contractors receive basic first aid training as part of the new hire/induction process. We also have emergency preparedness plans for handling hazards such as spills or any other type of hazardous substance.

In certain cases, employees are trained as responders for emergency situations in nearby communities, for example, our mine rescue brigade volunteers assisted rescue efforts following the earthquake in central Mexico last fall.

Our Performance In 2017

  • We achieved a 20% decrease in the reportable injury frequency rate and the lost time injury frequency rate (for both employees and contractors). Among the contributing factors, we launched the Visible Felt Leadership Program to enhance the safety skills of leaders and supervisors at each site. Through the program, they learn to lead by example, set top safety standards and expectations for their teams, and take accountability for providing safety coaching as part of their job.

    The reduction in injuries is also attributable to stronger safety strategies informed by worker feedback, improved monitoring of critical programs and greater follow-up on safety inspections and audits.

  • The top three types of injuries across our sites were related to rock falls, driving accidents (surface and underground) and slips while carrying equipment.
  • Approximately 34% (515 employees) of our total on-site workforce participated in various safety committees, up from 30% from 2016. These formal, joint management-worker committees represent our entire workforce.
  • In 2017, more than 300 people were trained in emergency response and mine rescue.
ES-2017-Report-Graphs_13

While our safety performance improved last year, we did not achieve our goal of zero fatalities. Tragically, one of our employees, Eduardo Lozano Rodriguez, died last October at our El Cubo mine when he entered a restricted area with low oxygen levels. This area was marked by signage and barricaded, and had been discussed with employees, but these actions were not sufficient. We investigated the accident and took immediate actions, including improving barriers and signage around areas deemed dangerous, redelivering training on dangerous gases and how to identify risk situations, and strengthening our communication procedures.

The accident underscores ongoing safety challenges we face at our El Cubo mine, where the majority (67%) of total reportable accidents occurred last year. There are a number of contributing factors:

  • A pre-existing union agreement stipulated different protocols for dealing with injuries and illnesses, which we have been bound by.
  • An incentive-based payment system, resulting in the workers’ bonus not being tied to safety, which is currently being revised.
  • A lack of a general manager for four years due to the challenge of finding a suitable candidate. A new general manager started in November 2017, whose focus is on improving the safety culture at the mine.

At our Bolañitos mine, one employee reported two types of occupational illness (lung disease and hearing loss). He had been diagnosed with these prior to joining Endeavour, but at a lower level of damage. His conditions worsened, making him unable to continue working in the mine. He was offered a position outside the mine, so he was able to remain employed. While we make all possible efforts to avoid occupational illnesses, several local miners have health conditions that existed prior to their employment with Endeavour. Their health conditions are often the result of having worked many years in Mexico’s mining industry, including at a time when safety and health standards were not as robust as today.

2018 Priorities

  • Zero fatalities
  • Achieve 10% reduction in the Reportable Injury Rate Frequency
  • Incorporate our Guanacevi and Bolañitos sites in the self-management safety program (Programa de Autogestión) from the Ministry of Labour
  • Implement the updated procedures at all three sites

Reportable Injury Frequency Rate

Reportable injury rate is calculated as total number of recordable injuries (including fatalities, lost time injury, restricted work and medical treatment injury) x 200,000 hours/total worked hours