Health & Wellbeing
All operational employees are subject to entry and exit medical assessments – and in certain operations, employees also undergo annual medical assessments that aim to prevent, identify and treat occupational diseases. These assessments, which are – at a minimum – aligned with the legal requirements of each operating jurisdiction, focus on operation and role-specific health risks. Employees are also offered quantitative, confidential health risk assessments. These not only address occupational diseases, but also general health and lifestyle issues such as hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol, diet and mental health.
In 2014, the number of occupational health cases submitted for compensation was as follows:
|13 cases of Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) (2013: 8)
|15 cases of Silicosis (2013: 12)
We await a final outcome of the assessments that are conducted as a matter of course by the Medical Bureau for Occupational Disease (MBOD) and the Rand Mutual Association (RMA), which will determine the final number of cases accepted.
In 2014, 49 new cases of cardiorespiratory tuberculosis (CRTB) (2013: 42) were recorded. This increase can be attributed to the fact that during the year South Deep enhanced its efforts to identify CRTB cases. There was therefore an increase in the total number of patients screened, and the final number of CRTB cases identified.
Wellness is a material issue given the location of Gold Fields’ mines, the nature of employees’ working patterns and the lifestyle challenges associated with the sector. All of Gold Fields’ regions run dedicated wellness programmes, tailored to both the national and local context of each mining operation. These programmes aim to identify and manage chronic medical conditions within the workforce – whilst also maximising its productive capacity and reducing absenteeism.