Arrow Overview of Our Performance
Arrow Sustainable Development Policy Statement
Arrow Sustainable Development Framework
Arrow Ethics and Corporate Governance
Arrow Gold Fields’ People
Arrow Risk Management
Arrow Health and Safety
Arrow Environmental Management
Arrow Material Stewardship and Supply Chain Management
Arrow Social Responsibility and Stakeholder Engagement
Arrow Conclusion
Arrow Global Reporting Initiative Reference Table
Arrow Independent Assurance Statement
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On 7 May 2008, Nick Holland, the Chief Executive Officer of Gold Fields, made the statement “If we cannot mine safely, we will not mine.” This iconic statement has translated into a vast improvement in safety performance as reflected above.

This signalled a watershed in the Gold Fields approach to safety and was the precursor to a far reaching suite of interventions which, collectively, have resulted in a very significant improvement in the Group’s safety performance during F2009.

The Fatal Injury Frequency Rate (FIFR) for the Group improved by 55 per cent to 0.13 per million man hours worked, compared to 0.29 during F2008. Across the board, we have also seen improvements with regard to the Serious Injury Frequency Rates (SIFR) and Lost Day Injury Frequency Rates (LDIFR). The SIFR improved from 4.03 to 2.82 per million man hours worked. The LDIFR decreased from 7.57 per million man hours worked in F2008, to 4.35 per million man hours worked in F2009. This represents an improvement of 30 per cent and 43 per cent respectively.

In the South Africa Region, the FIFR for F2009 was 0.16, as opposed to the 0.32 recorded during F2008. One million fatality free shifts were recorded at Kloof, South Deep and Beatrix and two million fatality free shifts at Driefontein. Other safety statistics continue with a positive downward trend and an overall improvement was observed in the SIFR from 4.77 to 3.22 per million man hours worked and LDIFR from 8.85 to 5.38 per million man hours worked.

    Fatality Free Injury Rate   Serious Injury   Lost Day Injury  
      Frequency Rate   Frequency Rate  
  Operations F2009   F2008   F2009   F2008   F2009   F2008  
    No..   Rate   No.   Rate                  
  Driefontein 7   0.16   12   0.26   3.02   4.45   4.90   7.02  
  Kloof 10   0.23   15   0.33   3.31   6.96   6.03   11.05  
  Beatrix 4   0.13   4   0.13   3.81   2.89   5.19   3.90  
  South Deep 0   0   12   0.75   2.08   5.25   5.26   16.81  
  South African Operations 21   0.16   43   0.32   3.22   4.77   5.38   8.85  
  Ghana 0   0   3   0.14   0.88   0.99   0.31   0.38  
  Australia 0   0   0   0   0.94   1.39   0   0.26  
  Peru 0   0   1   0.10   1.41   1.68   0.25   0.96  
  International Operations 0   0   4   0.12   2.42   2.72   0.33   0.63  
  Group 21   0.13   47   0.29   2.82   4.03   4.35   7.57  

At the international operations, the FIFR for the year remains at zero incidents per million man hours worked. LDIFR decreased from 0.63 in F2008 to 0.33 per million man hours worked in F2009. The SIFR has decreased from 2.72 for F2008 to 2.42 per million man hours worked in F2009.

The improvements can be partly attributed to an increase in hazard reporting across all sites and changes in behaviour, resulting in a decrease in serious incidents for all operations.

A significant initiative embarked upon during the year was the development of the Safe Production Rules for Gold Fields. These rules were developed through a comprehensive analysis of historical serious incidences. The Safe Production Rules seek to reinforce the Gold Fields Health and Safety Policy and to pursue the objective of zero harm. All Gold Fields employees, business partners and stakeholders have a duty to ensure that the Safe Production Rules are constantly applied and remain an integral part of work practices and processes. The statement “If we cannot mine safely, we will not mine”, translates into:

  • Safety is the number one priority;
  • Every employee has the right and responsibility to understand the risks inherent in the task to be performed;
  • Every employee has the right and responsibility to withdraw from a dangerous situation;
  • Every employee must be provided with the required training, resources and personal protective equipment; and
  • Every employee must be provided with the required information to enable the employee to mine safely.

The Safe Production Rules have been integrated into a booklet format and have been printed and distributed to all employees. The Safe Production Rules have also been integrated into our induction processes whereby all employees returning from annual leave, new employees and contractors, are exposed to the Safe Production Rules.

Safe Production Rules campaigns have been launched at all our operations

During the year, we commissioned the services of DuPont to undertake a comprehensive review of our safety practices. This review was undertaken on all operations. The objectives of the assessment were threefold, and included:

  • Understanding the operations’ safety management systems and culture;
  • Identifying improvement opportunities; and
  • Providing a recommended path to achieve safety improvement objectives.

Included in the assessment was a safety perception survey which was utilised to uncover the internal beliefs and perceptions around safety. The survey covered a third of all employees and took the form of structured interviews.

Each mine in the Group was visited and evaluated against the above and a report specific to the mine and the Group, was provided.

In South Africa, the outcomes of the DuPont assessments resulted in a project termed Safe Production Management, which has already been highlighted under the Gold Fields’ People section. This has been started with dedicated resources to ensure that the South Africa Region has the optimal health and safety culture and performance. The project will focus on five pillars for improved health and safety, these being:

  • Programme for safety;
  • Technical, engineering and mine design;
  • Culture, beliefs and values;
  • Organisational structuring; and
  • Performance leadership.

As mentioned in our previous report, we deploy OHSAS18001 certifications at our operations, which have been maintained at all certified operations during the year under review.

At the international operations, the DuPont assessment for each mine culminated in action plans to address the opportunities for improvement. A number of initiatives were implemented across all international operations, including the following:

  • An Occupational Health and Safety Leadership training programme for all managers and supervisors;
  • An increase in leadership visibility through regular workplace inspections and general workplace visits;
  • A central incident investigation process incorporating well developed root cause analysis principles;
  • A rigorous vehicle and machinery inspection process prior to purchase and use;
  • A central safety database allowing for accurate analysis of incidents and target areas; and
  • Site-wide reviews of all risk assessments and a central risk assessment protocol.

GFIMSA operations occupational diseases submitted

GFIMSA operations occupational diseases submitted

Breakdown of occupational diseases submitted to MBOD & RMA, F2007 – F2009

NIHL = Noise Induced Hearing Loss COAD = Chronic Obstructive Airways Disease
CR-TB = Cardiorespiratory Tuberculosis  

During the year the international operations committed to use a single standardised health and safety record database. The Cintellate system was selected as the most appropriate platform. The system was expanded to incorporate health, personal fitness and disease control data. After some short-term testing, this system will be replicated in Ghana and then a Spanish version will be implemented in Peru.

A review of the Gold Fields Full Compliance audit system was carried out during the year and work was done to modify the audit protocol and to fully implement a self audit system for each site.

The international operations have embarked on a training project around cultural safety change and the development of personal values for safe behaviour. Qualified psychologists are employed for the project and initial results are encouraging.

Health care
South Africa Region

The past year saw the alignment of all value chain elements of health services under one leadership team with the integration of occupational health, health services and the Gold Fields Nursing College into Gold Fields Health. In the current context of an increased disease burden, it is envisaged that this realignment will enhance operational efficiencies, improve patient care and, ultimately, create value by positioning health as a strategic partner to achieve the objectives of the business.

The frequency of visits per miner has reduced from 1.73 to 1.15. Sick leave days per employee have stabilised at F2007 levels. The sick leave rate for F2009 was 12 days per employee, compared to 10.7 in F2008 and 12.1 in F2007.

Medical surveillance and occupational diseases

The entire workforce has undergone the required medical surveillance examinations this year. In addition, 16,251 contractor examinations have also been conducted. Lung disease continues to form the majority of submissions for compensation.

Tuberculosis (TB)

In the South Africa Region there has been a reduction in the TB rates for all TB infection types, year on year, and an even greater reduction in the pulmonary TB rate, such that Gold Fields achieved its target of 25 infections per 1,000 employees for pulmonary TB rates for this year. Multi drug resistance (MDR) continues to increase with a total of 68 new cases reported in F2009, compared to 47 cases for F2008. During F2010 the monitoring of patients receiving TB treatment will be stepped up to limit the emergence of resistance, improve cure rates, and reduce re-infection rates.


Approximately 30 per cent of employees in the South Africa Region are HIV positive. This is a significant concern as it negatively impacts on life, safety and productivity. Gold Fields has an extensive and well developed programme to manage all aspects of HIV and AIDS amongst its employees. A central part of this programme is the provision of anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to employees with AIDS. During F2009, 941 new employees started treatment, which brings the total number of employees on the programme to 2,235. Only 6 per cent of employees enrolled on the programme have been forced to withdraw due to non-adherence to the programme.

The deaths in service due to medical reasons (of which HIV is one) has decreased from 10 per 1,000 in 2006 to 5.61 per 1,000 for F2009, pointing to improvements in the accessibility of healthcare services to more employees. In addition, ill health retirements have increased from 25 per 1,000 in F2008 to 29 per 1,000 in F2009.

Informed, Consent, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (ICVCT) is a core part of the HIV/Aids programme, and a signifi cant contributor to the prevention of HIV infection. A total of 39 per cent of all employees in the South Africa Region have been tested.

Southern Africa HIV therapeutic vaccine project

Gold Fields has contributed US$600,000 towards the Southern African HIV Therapeutic Vaccine Project. This collaborative strategic HIV/Aids health initiative is aimed at advancing therapeutic vaccine clinical trials within Southern Africa. The Virax vaccine technology and the related project proposal have been extensively discussed with leading HIV experts in South Africa and are favourably regarded due to the potential for the vaccine to provide an effective early therapeutic intervention, potentially delaying the requirement to start ART by some years.

The research project has received final South African Medicines Control Council approval and the clinical trial commenced in October 2008. The trial involves recruiting 140 HIV positive participants from four well established HIV/Aids clinics across four provinces in South Africa. Progress has been good with the number of participants enrolled rising to 58 as at June 2009.

High active anti-retroviral treatment (HAART)

HAART Programme actual employees cumulative

HAART Programme actual employees cumulative

The table above depicts the cumulative number of employees on the HAART programme

Chronic disease of lifestyle

    Of those tested  
  Disease risk profile and found positive  
  HIV+ 16%  
  Diabetic 3%  
  H/Cholesterolaemia 1%  
  High blood pressure 40%  
  Overweight 29%  
  Obese 20%  
  Underweight 3%  

Risk profiles for health risk assessments, F2009: 30 per cent of Driefontein employees completed a health risk assessment in F2009. This assessment was a pilot project at Driefontein only, which has proved successful and is now being implemented at all South African operations in F2010. Many employees were identified with risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: 40 per cent had high blood pressure, 3 per cent diabetes, while 29 per cent and 20 per cent were overweight or clinically obese, respectively.

International Regions Total well-being

The Total Well-being framework defines wellbeing as the state of complete physical, social, mental and spiritual well-being and not merely the absence of disease or ill health. Health is the extent to which an individual or group is able to realise aspirations and satisfy needs and to change or cope with the environment. A positive physical, social and emotional state is achieved through a host of different structured approaches, without neglecting a single sphere of well-being.

Because our operations are often in relatively remote settings, a vast number of initiatives across three continents are in place to ensure that Gold Fields employees have access to a host of options to address all spheres of wellbeing: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, social, financial, vocational and ecological. Many of the activities cut across the work,recreation, sport and social dimensions of employees’ lives, thereby attempting to address a healthy work-life balance around the clock.

The common approach followed by the International Regions is based on the following building blocks of the Total Employee Wellbeing programme:

  • Education;
  • Awareness;
  • Lifestyle improvement programmes; and
  • Facilities.

These are supported by:

  • Access to primary health care;
  • Disease management programmes; and
  • Strategic and innovative responses to specific healthcare challenges e.g. HIV/Aids, Malaria.

Following baseline well-being audits of the International Regions, the process of implementing and aligning all work and life sphere activities in support of total employee well-being has begun. Previously fragmented elements are now seen holistically and structures are in place to align and drive the programme at operational level, led by enthusiastic programme coordinators and well-being champions. Support and guidance is provided centrally, where reporting takes place.

West Africa Region

In Ghana, the approach to total employee well-being is to completely integrate all chronic disease programmes into the overall wellbeing programme, including a renewed focus on malaria. The on-site Primary Health Care services and Employee Care Centres are vitally important in this environment, especially when it comes to the early diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases such as Malaria.

The HIV/Aids programme for the region, which was modelled on the very successful programme in the South Africa Region, is a benchmark for international best practice and has received international acclaim. The appointed well-being coordinators, programme officers and peer educators promote voluntary counselling and testing at safety meetings and chop houses (food halls). A total of one thousand four hundred and twenty (1,420) employees at Tarkwa (74 per cent) voluntarily re-tested for HIV, and Damang mine re-tested one hundred and eighty seven (187) employees (50 per cent), bringing the total workforce tested to date to 93 per cent. During the last year, 0.5 per cent of employees tested were found to be HIV positive against a national infection rate of 2.3 per cent for Ghana as a whole.

Tuberculosis is not a major problem at the Ghanaian operations but all employees who undergo pre-employment screening or annual screening are also screened for tuberculosis. An extensive integrated Malaria control approach has been instituted at both Tarkwa and Damang. Information, education and communication focusing on the risk of malaria, the process of infection, signs and symptoms, and protective measures, have been posted at numerous accessible points on the operations. Early case detection and prompt effective treatment is ongoing at the mine clinics and the ABA hospital. Employees and contractors are encouraged to seek prompt treatment and to comply with the treatment regimen to prevent complicated malaria.

Both Tarkwa and Damang recently undertook Malaria vector identification and susceptibility testing in communities and mine villages to determine the type of chemicals to be used for vector control. A review of the integrated Malaria control programme was conducted in 2009, with recommendations and action plans to further align the Gold Fields programme to the World Health Organisation’s Roll Back Malaria programme. Because of a high index of vigilance and an aggressive and prompt treatment regimen, Malaria amongst employees is diagnosed early and treated effectively. Only minor losses of productivity are attributable to the disease as semi-immune workers experience light symptoms and recover quickly.

In terms of physical well-being, a strong football culture exists in Ghana with enthusiastic participation. Employees also have access to a host of other sporting and social activities. Recreation clubs provide a relaxing social venue after a hard day’s work. Social clubs and groups are very popular in Ghana. Spiritual, emotional and mental support is strong within communities, where spiritual leaders play an important role. Social events like happy hour, where people engage in indoor games like draughts, ludo, chess and other popular and traditional games, are organised on holidays. Tennis and golf coaches have been employed at Tarkwa and Damang to train employees. Gymnasium facilities have been made available for employees and their dependants on the mine sites as well as at the Accra office. Employees have started enrolling at the gym and swimming lessons are also ongoing.

Australasia Region

In Australia, the St Ives and Agnew operations have both adopted a strong holistic well-being approach. Levels of awareness and health education are high and actively promoted by top and middle management. A well-being coordinator leads the team at St Ives, whilst a very effective integrated approach is achieved within the safety structures at Agnew mine.

The SafeSpine programme aimed at education and awareness about mobility and manual handling has created new thinking and practice in injury reduction. The programme was originally run as a pilot phase in 2008 at the St Ives mine, in which reduction in sprains and strains was achieved for the maintenance group that attended the programme. SafeSpine has been initiated at all three underground operations at St Ives and will be expanded to the processing and open pit areas. The maintenance phase of the programme continues with 100 per cent compliance of shift crews doing a pre-shift warm up. In addition to this, Agnew mine conducts core strength and flexibility assessments on site, as well as myo-therapy treatment sessions, which provide therapeutic relief without the necessity for leaving the workplace.

The recreational facilities at Kambalda and Leinster both boast excellent facilities for residents and numerous opportunities exist for social and sporting interaction. Local general practitioners provide effective primary health care for the community.

At our Agnew mine, a health assessment facility is to be established on site with links to industry professionals such as dieticians, general practitioners and psychologists in order to provide a comprehensive service to all employees and contractors across the site, with the aim of improving general health.

Gold Fields Australia employees have access to a 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme which provides convenient and confidential access to counsellors and other healthcare professionals. A good culture towards fitness for work is emerging as very few positive drug and alcohol cases resulted from random tests conducted over the past year.

Regional office employees in Perth were invited to participate in a voluntary and confidential health and fitness appraisal. Group reports were generated which will guide and inform future health and well-being initiatives.

South America Region

At Cerro Corona in Peru, the well-being programme is coordinated through a committee which integrates all aspects of well-being. This multi-disciplinary team addresses issues such as accommodation, sporting events, recreational facilities and activities, access to gymnasium and facilitating spiritual and social needs.

An on-site gymnasium is well attended, where a personal fitness instructor provides physical exercise and nutritional advice. On weekends, spiritual leaders from numerous denominations lead services at the mine site. In their free time, employees have access to the internet and board games such as chess.

The Primary Health Care clinic on site provides 24-hour doctor and nurse service in support of well-being maintenance. Health education and preventative medicine is conducted at this centre. The centre also conducts well-being assessments and monitors employee wellbeing trends.

Due to a relatively cold and wet climate at high altitude, respiratory diseases feature at the Cerro Corona mine, but are treated promptly and effectively. Preventative measures for altitude sickness are undertaken through physical examinations and observations for all visitors to the site to prevent and treat any cases.

H1N1 and other respiratory diseases: implications for Gold Fields

As a labour intensive global organisation, Gold Fields recognises the threat of acute communicable respiratory disease, including H1N1 (swine flu), avian flu, SARS, etc. With operations around the world, a generic approach has been adopted which integrates with relevant country programmes. Preparedness measures for wide scale acute respiratory epidemics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • A watching brief of all major health risks/ pandemics;
  • Health awareness and up to date information on outbreaks;
  • Personal hygiene and community health prevention programmes and drives;
  • Scenario planing for absenteeism and review of human resources policies and procedures;
  • Health service preparedness plans;
  • Access to Primary Health Care, early diagnosis and treatment; and
  • Disease monitoring and reporting.

The 2009 H1N1 pandemic has spread worldwide more rapidly than expected. Fortunately the severity of the Influenza A in this “pandemic year” has proved to be of a more moderate nature and is being treated according to usual treatment protocols. South Africa, however, may be hardest hit due to relatively high prevalence of chronic respiratory conditions and immune compromise. Accordingly, a more aggressive preventative, diagnostic and treatment protocol is being adopted to minimise disease consequences and loss of productivity.