Safe, Inclusive and Innovative Operations
People are at the core of our business. By keeping our people safe, providing well-paid jobs and fostering inclusivity and diversity in our workforce, our operations contribute to the social and economic development of the communities in which we work.
Occupational Health and Safety
Protecting the health and safety of our employees, contractors and communities is our first priority and a cornerstone of our operating philosophy. We are focused on driving an engaged safety-first culture, as part of our commitment to a zero-harm workplace.
Eldorado’s SIMS contains occupational health and safety standards that set minimum performance requirements for all Eldorado sites and actions our corporate Health and Safety Policy.
Our Kışladağ and Efemçukuru mines in Turkey and the Kassandra Mines in Greece are independently certified to ISO 45001. The Mining Association of Canada’s Safety and Health Protocol is being implemented across our operations as part of Eldorado’s broader adoption of the Towards Sustainable Mining program within SIMS.
High-risk and safety-sensitive activities are identified in Eldorado’s Golden Rules, which provide requirements for health and safety risk identification and management. Every person entering an Eldorado site is required to carry a copy of the Golden Rules as part of their PPE. Eldorado holds employees and contractors to the same standards for safety and health, and all workers receive health and safety training at induction and periodically according to Eldorado’s Golden Rules Health & Safety Handbook.
Strengthening Our Safety Culture
We continuously look to strengthen our safety culture by taking a holistic view towards safety leadership. A culture of safety means that each individual values their safety and the safety of those around them; having this culture allows for our policies, procedures and systems to be implemented effectively and leads to safety-conscious behaviour.
We focus on strengthening our safety culture by continuing engagement with front-line workers. Our Health and Safety Policy reflects our commitments to foster a strong safety culture, through promoting greater awareness and ownership of safety objectives and performance across all levels of the organization. We encourage and facilitate the sharing of health and safety information across all of our operating regions to build knowledge of health and safety practices throughout the Company.
Technology and Innovation to Improve Health and Safety
As part of our continuous improvement efforts, we study the use of new technologies that can help our workers accomplish tasks more safely and reduce the risk of harm to people and the environment. In our underground mines at Efemçukuru, Olympias and Lamaque, innovations in underground-communications technology have allowed us to implement tagging and tracking technology for our equipment and our workers. Tagging and tracking involves providing employees with transmitters so that everyone can be accounted for, even if they are working in areas of restricted visibility. This technology allows us to reduce the risks of collisions, helps our workers avoid mobile machinery, and creates opportunities to adopt other beneficial technologies such as ventilation on demand.
At Kışladağ and Efemçukuru, we are integrating systems to mitigate risks associated with heavy vehicle proximity, with the aim of eliminating collisions with obstacles and personnel on site. By using technology, we mitigate risks and provide safer working environments.
Kışladağ continues to employ a driving safety system for mine haul trucks. This system monitors truck operations and driver behaviour and warns the driver of possible fatigue or decreased concentration. This helps our haul truck operations stay safe and alert and encourages them to take breaks when needed.
Health and Safety Beyond the Mine
We consider local stakeholders’ health and safety in our activities. As we transport materials to and from mine sites, the safety of our workers relates directly to the safety of local communities and neighbours. Our workers and contractors follow strict transportation safety guidelines and must adhere to all local transportation laws and regulations. An important part of being a responsible operator and a good neighbour is respecting common areas outside of our mining sites (such as roadways), and Eldorado is committed to transportation safety.
To promote health and safety in the communities near our operations, health programs at our sites provide basic medical treatments and services for employees and contractors, including immunizations and medical checkups. At some sites, like Efemçukuru, local community members are welcome to visit our physicians to receive checkups free of charge, while we support access to healthcare off site across our operating regions.
By planning for emergencies, we identify, prioritize and implement controls for potential hazards at our sites. Emergency plans help to safeguard our employees, the environment and local communities. Our emergency response teams comprise employees with additional training in emergency protocols, procedures and equipment.
Our emergency response teams also maintain close working relationships with community-based emergency responders, and provide additional support and resources to local responders in the event of a serious off-site incident. In cases of natural disaster and irregular weather events, such as floods and forest fires, which may become more frequent due to climate change, our emergency responders are prepared to assist community-based response teams to protect our workers, assets and neighbours.
Our operating regions also have crisis-management plans in place and are working to ensure consistency with MAC’s TSM Crisis Management and Communications Planning Protocol.
In 2021, a trained crew at Kışladağ responded to a fire near the mine site and successfully contained its spread, resulting in no impacts to site personnel, communities or infrastructure. Site personnel and equipment were also dispatched to support firefighting and flood relief efforts in the Black Sea region of Turkey, which experienced a severe fire season over the summer months. These quick and effective responses received recognition from the Department of Forestry in Uşak and Eldorado was honoured by a certificate of appreciation from the local township of Ulubey.
At the Kassandra Mines in Greece, we have supported emergency response efforts during wildfire and flood events. In recent years, heavy rains have caused flooding in Halkidiki, Greece, and our local teams have acted quickly to protect local towns and villages during these events. We have also supported clean-up and restoration efforts in areas near our sites affected by flooding, and maintain regular communication with local governments and emergency response services should Eldorado be able to assist during times of emergency.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020, we have remained focused on protecting the health and safety of our workforce, their families and the communities in which we operate. We have implemented extensive controls across our operations to mitigate the risk of the disease spreading at our sites including stringent physical-distancing protocols, temperature checks, increased availability of PPE and work from home procedures for employees that are able to do so or are considered to be at higher risk should they contract the disease.
Eldorado also instituted increased safety controls to maintain physical-distancing requirements during transportation to and from work. This includes enabling our workforce to use their private vehicles to commute to and from work and procuring additional bus transportation services so that employees travelling together can maintain a safe distance.
Throughout the pandemic, we have sought to mitigate risks to our workforce and their communities by providing leave for those who fall ill or are taking care of a sick family member. We have also sought to provide access to health care for our workforce and their families. In addition to these efforts, we have supported local health authorities, and invested in technologies, practices and equipment to mitigate the risk of disease transmission within our sites.
We have also continued our focus on supporting local communities and public health agencies to respond to the pandemic by providing emergency assistance and preparing for long-term economic and social recovery. This includes:
- Supporting local health agencies and procuring critical medical equipment, such as respirators, for hospitals in Greece
- Distributing hygiene products, food packages and PPE to local communities in Turkey
- Providing support for vulnerable groups, First Nations and hospitals near Lamaque
- Procuring sanitization products for the local hospital in Romania
We will continue to communicate with local communities and health care agencies to assess their needs and provide further support for emergency response and long-term recovery efforts.
We believe diverse and inclusive teams are a competitive advantage for Eldorado. We recognize and seek to foster diversity of identity and cognitive diversity across our organization. This includes gender, race, ethnicity, language, sexual preference, geography, religion, disability, age, and any other demographic characteristic that, in combination, define our sense of individual identity.
Cognitive diversity is also essential in mining, which often requires specialized skills and expertise; this form of diversity includes our background, acquired skills, knowledge, experiences and other attributes that influence our thinking, decision making and performance. Actively including diverse people, perspectives and ideas is critical to our business and our ability to create shared value.
Diversity in Leadership
Eldorado’s Diversity Policy sets aspirational targets to:
- Maintain a minimum of 30% women directors on our Board of Directors;
- Achieve a minimum of 30% women on our senior management team by year end 2023;
- Have at least an additional 10% of directors on our Board of Directors be represented by one or more designated groups (beyond women) by year end 2023; and
- Have at least an additional 10% of our senior management team be represented by one or more designated groups (beyond women) by year end 2023.
Eldorado defines designated groups as women, Indigenous peoples (First Nations, Inuit and Métis), visible minorities, persons with disabilities, and LGBTQIA2S+. As of January 2022, we have achieved our aspirational targets at the Board of Directors level.
Supporting Opportunities for Women and Other Designated Groups
Everywhere we operate, we seek to provide opportunities for people of diverse ages, genders and cultural backgrounds.
In partnership with the NeuroLeadership Institute, we apply tools and training backed by neuroscience to help leaders practice inclusion, speak up productively, and mitigate bias.
We are a proud sponsor of Artemis Project, an organization that brings together women-led businesses related to mining to accelerate collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship for better business outcomes.
Eldorado is proud to be a Silver Partner of International Women in Mining (IWiM), as part of our commitment to foster career and leadership opportunities for women in our workforce.
We have been working to speak openly and destigmatize mental health through “Not Myself Today”.
Eldorado is a participant in SHARE, a European Union sponsored project focused on promoting gender equality, inclusive culture, and work-life balance.
We actively work to deliver on our commitment to foster career and leadership opportunities for women in mining. Discover how Jale Şakiyan Ateş, Environment and Sustainability Manager in Turkey, has contributed her expertise and grown to lead Eldorado’s successes in reducing environmental impacts as part of her 20-year journey as a woman in mining.
Read the full interview here.
“I’m lucky to work for an organization that offers equal opportunities to all. Our company’s culture is not based on competition but on collaboration, praising one another, and collective success.”
Jale Şakiyan Ateş, Environment and Sustainability Manager, Tüprag Metal Madencilik San. Ve Tic. A.Ş. (a subsidiary of Eldorado Gold Corporation)