The Jabal Sayid mine in Saudi Arabia recently achieved an important safety milestone. It recorded one year of triple zero, meaning zero lost time injuries, zero medical treatment injuries and zero fatalities. The achievement comes nearly a year after commercial production kicked off at Barrick’s 50 percent-owned copper operation in Saudi Arabia, a joint venture with Ma'aden.
Basie Maree—who became Barrick’s Managing Director in Saudi Arabia and General Manager at Jabal Sayid this January—credits former General Manager David Baumgartel with driving a strong safety culture at the mine, which carries on to this day.
Baumgartel, now Vice-President of Supply Chain in Toronto, spent over five years at Jabal Sayid. From the get-go, the Jabal Sayid leadership team stressed the importance of safety.
The mine implemented Barrick’s Courageous Leadership program, which encourages anyone to speak up when they see a safety concern or are uncomfortable completing a task.
That program has since evolved into the Courage to Care course, which emphasizes how each person can not only lookout for their safety but also the safety of their coworkers. The day long course is taken by both employees and contractors, with regular refreshers.
“Safety is a culture. You can have good housekeeping, you can have systems in place, but if the culture from your leadership is not there, and the visibility of your leadership team is not there, then you’ll be struggling,” Maree says.
Constant conversations about safety in all areas of the mine are an important element of Jabal Sayid’s safety culture.
“No one wants to work unsafely. So when they realize it themselves, they want to make the change. That’s the difference. That’s how it becomes sustainable,” Baumgartel says.
“Our visible felt leadership is a way of life. Everybody does it every day, and when the GM sees a drop off in this, including his own visibility, we step it up as a team,” Maree adds. “I think that is the difference.”