Focus on Training

Safety training for our employees and contractors is a critical component of safety performance. Mandatory safety training is conducted at all of our sites, including exploration projects, based on Kinross’ management standards and policies and in line with OHSAS. It includes safety leadership and risk competency training programs, which we rolled out in 2008.

At Kupol, we initiated a risk hazard identification program in late 2009, consisting of a series of discussions about the causes of risk, the behaviours that create risks and the positive behaviours that create a safety-oriented culture at the mine.

In conjunction with mandatory training, we apply a number of standards to which each operation must comply. For example, in 2009 we introduced focused electrical safety training for our electricians and are continuing this training in 2010. At our mine sites, new haul truck operators undergo 170 hours of training in their first year, including several hours in our state-of-the-art training simulators.

For information on the very successful “See It, Own It, Solve It” safety program at our Fort Knox operation, see the case study Fort Knox Focus on Safety.

Occupational Health and Wellness

Kinross has developed a comprehensive set of standards and guidelines to assist our operations in minimizing potential occupational health risks at our mines. We also provide training, instructions, procedures and protective equipment to address such issues as hearing and respiratory protection, thermal stress, industrial hygiene, ergonomics and occupational health. We regularly monitor our people for exposure to occupational health hazards.

For employees and contractors who travel to or work at high-altitude mine locations such as those in Chile, we administer rigorous medical examinations. In 2009, we developed a fatigue management standard, which we are rolling out in 2010, to address on-the-job fatigue that can occur in high-altitude locations or result from shift work.

We provide emergency medical assistance (including evacuation) to employees and contractors in remote locations. In 2009, we established a state-of-the-art telemedicine program at our Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador. We also offer supplemental health care coverage for employees transitioning to other jurisdictions. In 2009, we introduced a standardized vaccination screening program and health, safety and security guidelines for international travel for employees visiting locations outside their own country (see the Inoculations and Travel case study). In response to the 2009 H1N1 outbreak, Kinross provided flu vaccination clinics, information sessions and regular updates for employees on protecting against the virus, and advisories and protocols regarding travel to affected areas.

Each of our sites is required to conduct regular risk assessments of potential health issues. When issues are identified, formal occupational health and industrial hygiene programs are developed and implemented. We continuously seek alternative processes to reduce health risks in the workplace. For example, at Round Mountain a Site Characterization Study was initiated to determine health risks associated with operations and work activities. The study evaluates the potential exposures associated with processes, tasks, reagents, chemical products and equipment used at Round Mountain. Based on the outcome of this study (which is expected to be completed in late 2010), air quality monitoring programs will be tailored to target health risks identified and controls implemented where necessary. Based on best practices and past history, a comprehensive air quality sampling program was completed in 2009, totalling over 450 collected samples. Agents tested for included silver, respirable crystalline silica, welding fumes, mercury and noise.

In addition to the ongoing program of mercury and lead biological sampling collected from ore processing and lab employees, the program was expanded to the welding crew. In late 2010 personnel employed as welders were required to undergo biological monitoring for an array of heavy metals.

Our employee assistance program offers a full range of counselling services regarding emotional well-being, family issues, addiction and recovery, financial planning and retirement. This program is available to our North American employees at no cost.

Early in 2010, we began the implementation of a wellness program to raise awareness of, and advocate for, the importance of good nutrition and exercise. In addition to making this and other health and wellness information available at our mining operations, most of our sites offer a range of wellness programs that are specific to their unique needs and priorities.

Emergency Response

All Kinross operations are required to have formal emergency plans in place for all potential emergencies, including hazardous chemical spills and exposures. Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response training and certifications are updated annually. Each site must have a properly trained rescue team, who train on a regular basis and work with local response personnel to ensure mutual capability to respond to an emergency situation. Procedures are tested and reinforced regularly through simulation exercises.

Sites are also required to have local crisis management plans. Local stakeholders are identified in these plans and the plans are reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

To complement these plans, we launched the Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at the Local Level (APELL) program in 2008. This program, originally developed by the United Nations Environment Programme in conjunction with governments and industry, involves coordinating our emergency response planning with the local community’s emergency response capabilities and plans. Integration of APELL was completed at Round Mountain, Kettle River-Buckhorn and our DeLamar reclamation site in 2008 and 2009. Implementation of APELL advanced at our Paracatu and Maricunga sites at the end of 2009, with completion expected in 2010.