Northern Star safety plan beats industry performance

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Northern Star Resources has entered the final year of its three-year safety plan with a lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) of 1.13, below the industry average for the third year in a row.

Under the three-year plan, Northern Star has increased supervision across its underground operations, particularly at the end of the shift and during night shift, when accidents are more likely to occur.

Northern Star has also provided more rigorous training to support its workforce, especially new employees, and offered mentoring to improve outcomes following a safety investigation.

The company has also ensured that employees have the appropriate work/rest cycles to improve fatigue management, while encouraging support between teammates and cross shift in the work area.

Northern Star has conducted trials of new equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE).

The company recorded zero fatalities during 2020, however noted an increase in its LTIFR, particularly for sprains and strains due to a higher number of inexperienced workers on site.

“We are confident that our increased focus on training, supervision, active field leadership, analysis of near misses and additional hazard identification training will arrest the negative trend in total recordable injury frequency rate (TRIFR) experienced during 2020,” Northern Star stated.

“The increased turnover witnessed in the mining industry during 2020 has inevitably led to a higher number of inexperienced workers on our sites.

“This, coupled with the addition of a significant new operation to our portfolio (50 per cent joint venture interest in the Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines operations) contributed to the negative trend in our TRIFR performance, notwithstanding that we remain an industry leader in safety.”

Entering the last year of the three-year plan, Northern Star aims to continue outperforming industry averages in safety, having put stretch targets in place to reduce the TRIFR from 4.7 in 2020 to below 3.3.

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