Sustainability Report <SR> 2020

Employee safety

“We have a systematic and integrated safety strategy help us achieve workplaces that are free of injury and harm.”


At AngloGold Ashanti, the wellbeing of employees and their protection from injury and harm is the foundation of who we are and how we conduct ourselves.

Safety is our first value and the board provides leadership to ensure that safety remains AngloGold Ashanti’s top priority. The SES Committee is rigorous in overseeing the implementation of our safety strategy which is aligned with recognised leading practice in global safety standards and systems.

AngloGold Ashanti has made significant strides in improving safety in recent years, by developing a systematic and integrated safety strategy fully owned and executed by the executive and operational leadership teams.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all operations remain on high alert and we are actively dealing with operational risks as well as psychological consequences associated with the virus and lockdown arrangements. Changes to rosters and travel restrictions have meant individuals have been separated from their families for extended periods. Some of our review work has also had to be carried out virtually. Comprehensive emergency response and crisis management plans are in place at all sites to deal with COVID-19 and all other related risks.

Our group safety strategy, as defined in our 2017 Sustainability Report (www.aga-reports. com/17/download/AGA-SD17-employee-safety.pdf), established a three-year workplan for the period 2018-2020. It has provided direction and guidance to achieve our 2030 aspirational goal of workplaces free of injury and harm.

We consider a number of areas: looking at eliminating both high-consequence lowfrequency events and low-consequence high-frequency incidents through critical control management; introducing engineering and higher order controls; and improving organisational culture and behaviour. We continue to consolidate progress made in recent years by reviewing the safety strategy.

The review process was initiated with a survey, completed by senior line management and safety leads, to gain insights on how we can optimise the strategy to achieve our goal of workplaces free of injury and harm. We have developed detailed action plans at a group level, with the regional and operational leads adapting and incorporating the strategy into site improvement plans considering local circumstances and relevance.

During the year we continued to build on the same four key focus areas as stipulated in 2018 ( These are still relevant and remain applicable.

We believe that a safe environment should be the outcome of a well-executed tactical, operational process as opposed to one of inputs. We support this principle with the following focus areas:

  • execution through line management

  • improving organisational culture; information and knowledge management

  • technology and innovation

  • risk management

  • critical control monitoring

  • contractor management
  • implementing internationally recognised safety standards

All our operating mines are OHSAS 18001:2007 certified, with Geita, Iduapriem, Siguiri, Cerro Vanguardia, Sunrise Dam and Tropicana Mines already migrated to ISO 45001:2018, with the remaining operations to follow. The certification process has however been impacted by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Execution through line management

Through this focus area, we believe we can ensure effective structures, clear accountabilities and that there are competent people placed in key roles. In 2020, we made progress in taking the safety discipline framework further. We updated the ‘Safety Health of Discipline Framework’, and conducted competency assessments for Stratum III safety professionals using the group human resource’s Talent Management System. The outcome of the assessments is being used to develop formalised individual development plans, career and succession planning.

Safety as a process, and as an outcome, is ultimately determined by line management, supported by safety practitioners. The safety leaders’ team continues to influence leadership and safety practitioners, focusing on supervisors and operators at operational levels and encouraging all to lead by example.

We aim for leaders at all levels in the organisation to create conditions for workplaces free of injury and harm through their focus on people, work processes and the adoption of technology.

The monitoring of Safety Leading Indicators remains high on the agenda to drive line supervision involvement and participation in the Safety Management System routines and rituals. Visible leadership routines have continued to be strengthened in the year. Line managers do this to demonstrate leadership when conducting safety interactions.

Organisational culture

We strive to improve our organisational culture to achieve a superior safety performance and continuously engage in a downward readjustment of risk tolerance. By working with the Dupont Sustainable Solutions (DSS) model we have continued with our Safe Production Project in Brazil. This is a three-year project, concluding in 2021 and has the aim of reducing serious injury and recording zero fatalities and is already yielding positive results. A recent assessment conducted to review the level of compliance indicated improvements in all the categories.

We have a comprehensive number of lead and lag targets in place to reduce safety incidents. At a company and site level these form part of the Deferred Share Plan criteria, which is reflected in the <IR>.

Information and knowledge management

In managing a dynamic environment, it is important that the correct information is appropriately captured, modelled, shared and used to improve business decision making – enabling continuous and step change progress to achieve goals.

An Integrated Sustainability Information Management System (iSIMS) for the broader sustainable development disciplines is being deployed. This allows for Integrated Operational Risk Management and trending of key performance indicators at group, regional and operational level reporting.

Work on all modules continues and the incident management and action management modules are scheduled to go live in 2021.

Using data visualisation, dashboards simplify complex data sets to provide users with a quick and easily understood update on performance.

Risk management

Critical control compliance is an important tool in key decision making and in the elimination of high consequence events. Building on the work completed in 2019, critical controls received increased focus in 2020. Specific emphasis has been on analysing the correlation between critical control failures in critical control monitoring and control failures that contributed to High Potential Incidents.

Through this work we seek to establish a more holistic and proactive risk management approach in order to prevent repeat incidents. Learnings from incidents are communicated through a formalised process. At the operational level we continue to focus on the quality of incident investigations in order to identify and share key learnings across the organisation.

We are also involved in a number of external initiatives outside of the Company in efforts to promote a safer industry. As an ICMM ( member Company, we are working in collaboration with some of the world’s largest miners and equipment companies to introduce controls to reduce vehicle related risks.

During the year we completed an assessment of compliance with major hazard critical control standards for heavy mobile equipment and light vehicles. In addition to the compliance results, the self-assessment protocol also produced the results in the form of a maturity curve that will be utilised to map out current status by operation.

Through contractor management we ensure that contractor, supplier and partner relationships are compatible with AngloGold Ashanti’s vision and values.

Our safety practices and training programmes extend to contractors. At site level, reporting on contractors’ safety management, objectives and targets is in place. We are working to ensure that the contracting process allows for the integration of reliable companies, as defined in the contractor’s life-cycle management standard.

“Our safe production strategy continues its focus on achieving our goal of zero harm. It has yielded safety-performance improvements over time.”

Christine Ramon / Interim Chief Executive Officer

Our performance

Sadly, during the year we lost six of our colleagues in fatal incidents. Fatal incidents are a harsh reminder of the safety journey we must still travel to achieve zero harm at all our operations. Each loss of a colleague remains a shocking and deeply sad event for all of us at AngloGold Ashanti. See In memorium for more detail.


* Refer to the data tables for disaggregated disclosures for AIFR and FIFR.

Indicator 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016
All injury frequency rate (per million hours worked)
Group (Continuing and discontinued operations)*2.393.314.817.497.71
Group (Continuing operations)1.76
Continental Africa0.590.620.490.390.51
Group (Discontinued operations)4.96
South Africa6.126.610.2512.6812.02
Group (Continuing and Discontinued operations)*
Employees (AIFR)3.124.386.569.819.39
Contractors (AIFR)1.742.
Continuing operations
Employees (AIFR)1.734.386.569.819.39
Contractors (AIFR)1.782.
Discontinued operations
Fatal injury frequency rate (per million hours worked)
Group (Continuing and discontinued operations)*0.0700.030.060.06
Group (Continuing operations)0.03
Africa region0.050000
Group (Discontinued operations)0.25
South Africa0.3000.070.110.09
Sadiola 0.00
Group (Continuing and Discontinued operations)*     
Continuing operations      
Employees (FIFR)0.0000.040.060.06
Discontinued Operations      
Employees (FIFR)0.35
Lost time injury frequency rate (per million hours worked)
Group (Continuing and discontinued operations)*1.622.263.375.695.74
Group (Continuing operations)0.98
Africa region 0.250.310.120.150.13
Group (Discontinued operations)*4.23
South Africa5.215.358.2110.089.62
Group (Continuing and Discontinued operations)*      
Employees (LTIFR)2.403.564.967.67.41
Continued operations     
Employees (LTIFR)1.123.564.967.67.41
Discontinued operations     
Employees (LTIFR)5.50
Occupational fatalities (number)
Africa region*20000
South Africa40276
High potential incidents (HPI)
  • * For 2020 the rate has been seperated between discontinued operations (South Africa and Sadiola) and continued operations. This has not been applied to historical data 

  • * For 2020 the rate has been seperated between discontinued operations (South Africa and Sadiola) and continued operations. This has not been applied to historical data