Wednesday 1 February 2017

Your Health Is Your Wealth

Our Commitment

Golden Star values and is committed to safety and employee well-being.
We believe that job-related injuries and illnesses are unacceptable.

In support of our commitment, we continue to improve our health and safety systems and practices, and grow our skills and capacity in support of our changing business.

So let’s take a look at a few of our key initiatives from the last quarter of 2016…

New Underground Mines

With the development and commencement of our two new underground mines, we have completed a number of projects for ‘operational readiness’, including:

updating risk registers – lists of key hazards and controls to minimize risk
job hazard analysis – teams identify hazards and controls for a task
safe work procedures –documented instructions on how to do safety critical work
mine development - actual work to install new tunnels and support the rock, provide electricity, water and air to make it safe for workers to access the ore bodies
occupational hygiene studies – monitoring of environment and hazards in the mines

Installing ground support for safe mine access using
manual and remote operated drill rig


Frank Osei Bonsu, Production Shift Boss, wearing the occupational
hygiene monitoring equipment including noise dosimeter and personal dust pump
Building Enthusiasm

Our Wassa team recently held a safety day with an inter-department first aid competition and competition for a new safety mascot.

In a hard-fought competition, including high-pressure tie-breaker, the Underground team just clinched the title from the second placed Construction Projects team. 

The Underground mine team celebrate their win
Solomon Smith from the Heavy Equipment Maintenance team won the competition for naming of the new safety mascot. ‘Ahwɛyie’ is the ‘cautious rabbit’, who considers his actions before he acts, and works safely even when no-one is watching.
Solomon Smith is congratulated by
Wassa General Manager, Gary Chapman
Solomon said:”I was very much elated and surprised when I won the competition but I was even happier when I first heard that my suggested name for the safety mascot was chosen."  

Ensuring Employee Wellbeing

Ensuring that our employees are healthy is one of Golden Star’s top priorities.  We have implemented a number of health programs inside our mines for our team as well as outside for the local communities.  Read more about our community health projects in the November blog post.

Malaria is one of the most prominent diseases in Ghana. Our malaria program includes internal residual spraying (IRS) in all company buildings and accommodation, garden management and brushing to reduce breeding sites, rapid and laboratory testing for malaria, and targeted treatment. It has led to a huge reduction in malaria cases amongst the workforce.

Following successful preventative health screening campaigns, our medical service providers now provide integrated preventative health screening for our employees for a range of different problems. Workers and site-based families can request blood pressure, blood sugar, body mass index and other tests at any time, to enable improved health management.

Mine employees participate in health screening campaigns

Practice Makes Perfect

Each and every one of us wants to know that if something did go wrong in a mine that a trained and capable management team, and emergency response team, would be there to help.

At Golden Star we are no different, and like all modern miners, we conduct mock emergencies and drills to make sure all our systems and equipment are reliable, and our people know what to do.

Prestea's emergency response team preparing for a drill
In November each of our mines conducted two major mock drills. Reflecting our strong commitment to safety, operations were stopped to make the drills as realistic as possible. Our personnel, our medical services providers, and even our teams in Accra and Toronto were involved in the practice to ensure we continue to improve!

Stephen Aninoo, Mine Shaft Captain, Prestea Underground Mine

 “I am the Shaft Captain for Prestea Underground mine, where I have been working for over 35 years. In the course of my work, incidents and emergencies do occur and although I used to manage these as before, I have gained new skills through the recent emergency practice exercises.  During the drills, I had a continuous flow of information from the onset of the incident through our emergency management process. It aided me to communicate smoothly during the drill and I participated in the review session after the drills.  The drills offered multiple benefits to the safety of the mine, and looking forward, I am confident that together with my team I can better manage emergencies.” 

Recognition for Our Commitment

Golden Star continues to strengthen our safety and health systems and management. We record all injuries sustained by employees and contractors so we can learn from them in the future.

As required by law we also report on the number of injuries that prevent people from being able to do their normal work, per every million hours worked at our operations.  This is known as the lost time injury frequency rate or LTIFR. We compare our LTIFR to other companies, and as at the end of 2016 our LTIFR was 0.36 – a very good result compared to many industry peers.

In 2016 Golden Star was recognized by the Minerals Commission at their annual awards ceremony in the following categories:
Wassa placed second at the National Inter-Mines Safety and First Aid Competition,
Wassa placed second position in Best Improved Mine award, and
Sidi Adam was recognised with the first ever individual Excellence Award, for his work in supporting the Wassa team to win the three successive Safety and First Aid Competitions.

At the prestigious 2016 Ghana Mining Industry Awards, Golden Star was recognized with our Wassa operation placing as First Runner Up in the Best Performer in Occupational Health and Safety category.

Sidi accepts the award from the Paramount Chief

Sidi said: “I was overwhelmed with so much ecstasy when the long years of hard work finally paid off.  I must say this would not have been possible without the support from the management of Golden Star's Wassa mine and the tireless effort of the Wassa mine team and community teams.  I sincerely believe this is just the beginning and we will continue to fly the Golden Star flag high through this competition.” 

What Has Been the Impact?

More importantly than any competition, award or metric, we remain committed to continual improvement in safety and health, to ensure everyone goes home safely every day. In 2016 there were no fatal incidents at our operations, and we are proud of our teams for their dedication to continual improvement; however every injury is unacceptable, and so our journey must continue.

Nicolas Teiku, Chairman of Local Companies in Mining Services (LOCOMS), Prestea South Mbease Nsuta project haulage contractor

“Safety is number one when it comes to working with Golden Star and the benefits transcend the operators (drivers) of our trucks to include the truck owners and our cost of operation as haulers. Anytime I go to negotiate for trucks for haulage, I always warn the truck owners that if their operators do not obey safety rules and regulations, they should count their contract with LOCOMS terminated outright because our client Golden Star doesn’t joke with safety compliance.” 

If you'd like to find out more about Golden Star and its approach to CSR, please visit