Personal safety is firmly in the spotlight, thanks to COVID-19 and the adjustments we’re all making during the global pandemic.
However, at Eldorado, safety is always top of mind. We’re not just focused on prevention measures aimed at reducing the risk of COVID-19. Our ultimate objective is to create and sustain injury-free, healthy work environments for our employees and contractors. Our personal safety, and the safety of those around us is part of each of our jobs – everyone is accountable.
A significant milestone in our journey to safety excellence was recently achieved when our Efemçukuru mine in Turkey exceeded 1,000 days without a Lost Time Injury (LTI).
This remarkable achievement was accomplished through the continuous efforts of the entire Efemçukuru team, currently ~850 employees and contractors. It demonstrates their ongoing commitment to safety, and the care and responsibility shown by everybody.
Developing a Safety Culture
Göksel Alpaslan, OHSE & Risk Manager at our Efemçukuru mine is proud of the achievement his colleagues have made. “Back in 2010, when I joined Efemçukuru, mine construction was in progress. There had been approximately 6-7 LTIs within the first couple of years. So we set more ambitious goals for the development of our safety culture. Over the first couple of years we worked hard to establish a solid Safety Management System and culture across the site. We then began to see a dramatic shift in Efemçukuru’s safety performance.”
“We are all proud of what the Efemçukuru team is achieving here. It speaks to the real possibility that we can conduct our business every single day without anyone being hurt.”
Yaşar Dağlıoğlu, Efemçukuru Mine General Manager
The team at Efemçukuru placed a lot of effort on developing good leadership practices, with both supervision and frontline employees, empowering them to make safe decisions. Reflecting on the difference in today’s safety culture on site, Göksel said, “The achievement of ‘1,000 days LTI free’ is the result of hard work, everyone’s strong commitment to safety, adherence to stringent safety procedures, continuous improvement and adopting best practices. We’re always striving for a work culture of zero harm.”
Commitment to Safety Goals
Yaşar Dağlıoğlu, Efemçukuru Mine General Manager, feels the team has developed a sense of family and of caring for each other which has helped achieve results. “Over the past ten years, the mine has matured. Our workforce is more committed to the goal of sending every person home safe and healthy every day. Now we have a team full of safety champions, many of whom regularly go out of their way to look after the safety of others as well as their own.”
While Yaşar agrees that safety in mining has certainly come a long way over the past decade, poor attitudes and indifferent approaches still exist all over the world, and in Turkey. “There were some challenges we faced while we’ve been trying to keep everyone moving in the same direction. As a mine we are always striving for change: change to improve our safety, to improve our production and to improve our costs. All that change comes with an understandable amount of pressure, both internal and external. A big challenge is to not allow that pressure to distract our people from the importance of working safely, or from managing risks and doing things right,” said Yaşar.
For Efemçukuru this is where the challenge starts. Achieving a workplace with 1,000 days LTI free is just the beginning – sustaining it is the true goal.