As Primero has grown into a multi-mine company with international operations, we have not lost sight of the value of our core asset, our people. Our first priority is the well-being of our employees: their safety on the job, their human rights and their professional growth and development.

At every Primero operation and project, we strive to protect the health, safety and welfare of our people and their communities.

We focus on safety leadership and fostering a safety-first work culture through programs like our Zero Harm and Circles of Prevention programs. The Zero Harm program at San Dimas focuses on 10 critical tasks - such as rock scaling, driver accreditation, and explosives handling - to ensure that employees performing those tasks have the prior training and, if appropriate, the accreditation.


Safety Governance

The key to building and maintaining a safety-first culture is employee participation. We operate a variety of safety-focused committees and groups.

At both Primero mines, Joint Health and Safety Committees (JHSC) provide forums for employees from the workforce and management through which they can identify workplace hazards and make recommendations for employee safety and/or to prevent equipment or property damage. JHSC members also participate in operational procedure reviews and take part in accident investigations that relate to their scope of work.

Key Performance Indicators for Health and Safety

We have developed a number of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Health and Safety that have helped us target the greatest risk factors, and focus on early corrective measures. As a result of emphasizing these KPIs in our safety programs, safety statistics markedly improved.

San Dimas has instituted planned observation checklists of each KPI. At Black Fox, employees use 10-point "Safety Cards". The cards provide safety messages and allow workers and supervisors to report injuries or near misses, or to take note of any damage or substandard conditions that are observed. The cards are collected and documented so any situation can be acted on by management and employees.


Compliance with Safety Standards

No examples of non-compliance were identified at either Primero mine in 2014. At Black Fox, the Ontario Ministry of Labour Regulator visited the mine six times, and the mill twice. No non-compliance issues were identified and minor work orders were corrected. At San Dimas, state regulators made four visits in 2014. One was a follow-up to a previous visit to San Dimas operations, while the other three visits were to different contractors working in the mine.

Safety Performance

We at Primero recognize the dangers inherent in the type of work we do. Accordingly, we place enormous emphasis on building and maintaining a strong safety culture. Our efforts have resulted in a steady year-on-year decline in overall accident frequency.

In 2014, our Total Reportable Injury Frequency was down significantly over 2013: a 40% drop at San Dimas, and a 31% drop at Black Fox. At San Dimas, this is the ninth consecutive year of reductions in Total Reportable Injury Frequency rates and the fifth consecutive year as a Primero mine. San Dimas also received special recognition for its safety performance from the Durango State Secretary of Labour and Social Welfare. In June 2014, Black Fox celebrated more than one year without any lost time injury - a significant achievement in the mining industry.

For 2015, our goal is an overall reduction of 15% in our All Injury Frequency Rate.

Protection and Training

Primero’s Safety System goes far beyond injury prevention. It seeks to improve the health and welfare of our workers, their families and the surrounding communities. Through ongoing monitoring and check-ups, we identify and prevent sickness. Check-ups include:

  • Preventive programs for disease detection.
  • Epidemiological disease-detection programs for all employees exposed to noise, dust, hazardous chemical substances, etc.
  • Biological & environmental monitoring.
  • Annual medical exams.
  • Anti-doping and alcohol tests for workers.

The San Dimas mine maintains on-site hospital facilities, with x-ray, ultrasound, a surgery room and clinical lab, which are available for all employees and contractors. To the best of the company’s knowledge, there were no workers with a high incidence or high risk of specific diseases.

Ongoing, monthly safety campaigns focus on specific topics. The campaigns include awareness talks, training courses and revision of standards. Topics have included among others: lock out/tag out, defensive driving, safety in work at heights and safe handling of sodium cyanide.

Management Approach to Labour Practices


Throughout Primero, we foster a culture of inclusivity and acceptance of gender, race, cultural background, age, religion and disability. We are committed to fair and equitable labour practices in every operation and office.

Everywhere we operate, we seek to be recognized as an employer of choice by offering competitive wages, above-average benefits, by preferentially hiring locally and recognizing and rewarding employee performance.

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