Safety Training Program at Barrick Gold Corporation
Barrick Gold Corporation is an international organization that deals with the production and sale of gold. It also engages in gold exploration as well as mining development tasks. The company is among the largest across the globe and most successful gold companies. Barrick also has one of the most detailed safety training programs in the industry.
This paper offers an insight into the organization’s safety and health training program and it explores the responsibility of its human resource team in the program. Besides offering a description of the program is conducted, the paper will also identified bodies offering training as well as their respective qualifications. Lastly, it will present challenges faced by the company in carrying out safety training programs.
The human resource department at Barrick Gold Corporation plays a crucial role in facilitating health and safety programs. Safety and healthy training is part of the human resource development program that aims to increase the employee’s competency and the contractor in execution of duties safely in different operation areas. The department also organizes quarterly training sessions, held in every section that the company operates in (Barrick Gold Corporation, 2010, p. 30).
Even so, Barrick human safety and health training are executed by its operations department. The vice president of the company of safety and healthy often oversees the organization’s safety and health programs development at the corporate level to ensure continued improvement of the expertise of the professionals and succession planning. Safety and health training programs at the company are also part of Barrick’s corporate responsibility.
The program has three vital components including general employee training, special training for health and safety experts for instance the emergency response team and lastly, the specific safety and health training for its supervisory staff and management (Barrick Gold Corporation, n.d, p. 25). The aim of the safety and training program by the company is to ensure all staff gets essential skills and knowledge to minimize accidents related to the workplace by creating a healthy and safe working environment.
The training is also supported by effective certification, evaluation and recertification process to help enhance its authenticity and quality. Safety and health trainings at the company’s mining and exploration sites are basically designed for new workers and other employees at new project sites. Employees are also offered safety and health training refresher courses to help maintain and enhance their knowledge and skills as a way of creating a healthy and safe work environment.
The trainings will also focus on different site operation areas for example, safety and health measures when operating mining machines and application legislations on safety and health to help them work efficiently and safely. The company often keeps track of the program based on the fact that it is part of its performance management initiative.
Safety and health training programs by the company are also conducted by the project, general and site managers. Supervisors and managers carry out training in the field via coaching and employee mentoring of different safety and health related issues at the sites (Barrick Gold Corporation, 2010. P. 30). Other roles of the managers conducting the training included carrying out competency needs evaluation to help determine the level of skills and knowledge to be demonstrated or learned during the training course.
They also have to determine training frequency together with ongoing and initial training essentials to ensure high competency levels. Barrick’s safety and training programs also address the organization’s safety philosophy, personal responsibilities and expectations of its staff (Barrick Gold Corporation, n.d, p. 13). Managers offering safety and training also possess in-depth knowledge of the organization’s philosophy, expectations and roles bestowed on each individual.
Safety training tasks include contractor, employee and visitor orientations to help familiarize them with the working environment of the company. Managers who train staff is aware of the work environ of the company, its rules and regulations to offer the right orientation. Since each stage of the gold production process calls for extensive skills, employees are usually trained on knowledge and expertise related to different tasks that are assigned to them.
The managers also have complete understanding and experience in the entire gold production process of the company. The key areas that the training focuses on include recognition of hazards and control, risk and change management knowledge, emergency processes and conducting the basic first aid operations (Barrick Gold Corporation, n.d, p. 13).
The managers in charge of training are experts in disaster management and preparedness areas and more specifically in relation to gold mining industry. Competencies that are gained by staff through recognition of hazards, control skills as well as knowledge involve enhancing their ability to analyze and identify safety and health risks.
Risk and change management skills and knowledge are very essential in reducing the probability of hazards occurring. In the event of an accident, emergency preparedness as well as management competencies will help employees prevent or reduce adverse effects. Incident investigation knowledge is also a significant qualification possessed by the managers to enhance the worker’s understanding of the cause of the accident. This competency can be utilized to help enhance future health and safety standards in the company.
Trainers should also be constantly informed of recent updates, development and changes related to health and safety issues for example regulatory essentials in the gold mining industry. The managers should finally possess essential leadership skills to enable them carry out safety and health training programs efficiently.
Effective communication skills are also some of the key competencies that the manager should possess. Learning experience during training with such skills becomes highly effective thus, enhancing the competency of employees in enhancing safety and health of Barrick work environment.
Organization diversity is also one of the major challenges facing the training programs of the company. As a global organization, Barrick is operating in different countries across five continents. It has employed many locals in its operation areas therefore, achieving high organizational diversity. Staff members in the company engaged in the training program also come from different cultural backgrounds.
The company workforce varies in terms of age, gender, and work experience, educational and occupational level. To enhance the effectiveness of the training programs, the company has to been forced to ensure that its safety and health training programs are customized to help cater for the entire diverse workforce. Translating its safety and training programs to local and international languages is one of the challenges faced by the organization.
Language is used in the training program and it varies in complexity to help cater for different employee educational level. Regulations and labor laws in relevance to safety and health of staff members also vary across different countries. They also keep changing thus, calling for continuous revision of Barrick safety and training programs for the purpose of compliance.
There are also cases where laws and regulations vary across regional, state and local governments in a country. this has led to inconsistencies in the training program of the company thus, limiting application standards of the training across the countries or regions it operates in. what’s more, expatriates have to undergo regular training of safety and health issues whenever they relocate to new locations where the company operations.
Barrick’s safety training programs have however failed to address urgent training needs because they are organized on quarterly basis. This is a challenge that is quite prevalent where the company also faces difficulties in recruiting sufficient safety and health training tutors with sufficient experience or where there is high trainer’s turnover due to relocation, retirement or transfer to a different level within the organization.
It is also clear that the safety and training programs in the company are crucial in the organization’s human resource development to help enhance the safety and health of its working environ.
Barrick Gold Corporation. (2010). Barrick responsible mining: 2010 responsibility report. Retrieved from: http://barrickresponsibility.com/2010/en/pdf/Barrick_CSR_2010.pdf
Barrick Gold Corporation. (n.d). Barrick safety and health management system. Retrieved from: http://www.barrick.com/files/safety-and-health/Barrick-Safety-and-Health-Management-System.pdf