Response to COVID-19
AngloGold Ashanti recognises that all our stakeholders have a direct interest in the way in which we, as a business, prepare for and respond to COVID-19 at our operations and in our communities. This situation presents an unprecedented global challenge that is evolving rapidly, and so will the way in which we plan and react. Guided by our values and our pledge to protect the health of our employees and host communities, we are working to ensure business continuity.
Message from Kelvin
Chief Executive Officer
You will no doubt have been seen the many news headlines about the Coronavirus, or COVID-19, and seen the steps taken by many governments around the world to manage its spread. While I understand the real concern many of you have for your health and wellbeing, and those of loved ones, this is a moment for calm heads and clear, decisive action - both individually and together - to mitigate the impact of this outbreak and prevent the spread of illness.
As a business, we’ve already taken steps in this regard, and are guided by our first priority, which is to ensure your health and safety.
We’ve established two groups which are working hard to protect our people and the business. First, a cross-functional COVID-19 Taskforce that is dealing with strategic approach to managing this outbreak and its impact on our people and the business. And second, a COVID-19 Crisis Committee which is focused on ensuring these interventions are implemented as quickly and effectively as possible at each site. These groups are ensuring we act swiftly and learn from each other’s experiences.
Interventions are already in place to increase screening based on travel, symptoms of illness and those displaying high temperatures at our sites. This will ensure that people who may be ill are identified early, are provided the treatment they need as quickly as possible, and do not present a risk to others.
Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has characterized the spread of COVID-19 as a pandemic, it is important to note that:
- A very small percentage of healthy adults develop serious complications
- Elderly people and those with compromised immune systems or underlying chronic diseases, appear most vulnerable
- There is currently no vaccine or specific treatment, but we are encouraged that the vast majority of those affected tend to recover from the virus.
In line with the spread of COVID-19 and our wish to contain it, AngloGold Ashanti has now introduced some protocols to be adopted across the company.
USE COMMON SENSE
If you are exhibiting flu-like symptoms, have been diagnosed with the flu, have tested positive for the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or have been exposed to someone who has tested positive, remain at home and consult with your doctor.
If you suspect that you have been exposed to someone with the virus, but are not showing symptoms, notify your supervisor immediately.
MOVING AROUND IN BUSY PLACES
You are urged to take extra care and follow these precautions:
- Avoid greeting with handshakes/embraces;
- Pay strict attention to personal and food hygiene;
- Perform hand hygiene frequently, particularly after contact with respiratory secretions. Hand hygiene includes either cleaning hands with soap and water or with an alcohol-based hand rub. Alcohol-based hand rubs are preferred if hands are not visibly soiled; wash hands with soap and water when they are visibly soiled;
- Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing and immediately dispose of the tissue and then perform hand hygiene;
- Refrain from touching your mouth and nose;
- Avoid contact with sick people especially those with respiratory symptoms and fever;
- Avoid live markets and contact with sick or dead animals if travelling to affected areas;
- Ensure consumption of well-cooked meat products and avoid raw products.
Until further notice, all employees and contractors working in any AGA workplace, must adhere to the following guidelines to protect the health and safety of our employees and contractors and to maintain business continuity:
- Minimize, to the fullest extent possible, the number of visitors coming into the workplace.
- Ensure all visitors sign-in on the visitor log with reception, and provide contact details (cellphone, email, recent international travel information over the last two weeks). Any visitors must comply with health screening and surveillance protocols that apply to AGA staff.
- Utilize Skype calls, video teleconferences, or other means to conduct business without relying on in-person meetings.
- Have with you at home, at all times, your laptop computer and any additional electronic devices or papers you would need should the office close or you otherwise be directed to work from home.
- Additional guidelines for individual operating sites may be issued separately by site management as necessary.
Practice good hygiene in the workplace:
- Any employee with flu-like symptoms should receive medical attention as soon as possible and only return to work once symptoms have cleared fully;
- Clean and sanitize your workstation, and clean up after yourselves in common areas;
- Wash your hands often with soap and water;
- Use hand sanitizer if a wash station is not available;
- Use a tissue or cover your mouth with your arm when you cough or sneeze;
- Avoid close contact with others, including handshakes;
If you have tested positive with COVID 19:
- Inform your manager and/or HR immediately, and communicate with them as often as you are able with regard to your health status;
- A doctor’s note is required to clear your return to the office.
We know that there are many questions. We encourage you to reach out to your supervisor, your clinic or local HR representative if you have any questions. We will continue to comply with our policies and the local regulations that govern our offices and sites.
In closing, I’d like to remind you that when we’re in these times of crisis it feels like they will never end. Of course, they inevitably do, but in the meantime, we must work together and remain vigilant.
Chief Executive Officer
More information on:
29 January 2020
Global brief: Raising awareness of the novel Coronavirus outbreak in China
The mine’s preventative measures
Geita Gold Mine prepares its employees and contractors on preventive measures against COVID -19
In the effort to make sure employees and contractors work in a safe and healthy environment, management of Geita Gold Mine has put in place strong measures to protect its employees against the COVID-19 pandemic.
Different initiatives have been employed by the mine to prevent the transmission of the virus.
Hand washing facilities have been installed at all entry points and employees have to wash hands regularly as instructed by health guidelines against COVID-19.
Security guards are taking additional precautions when entering the mine which include wearing masks and gloves while performing inspections, and temperature screening employees, contractors and other stake holders before they are allowed to enter the mine.
Awareness posters about COVID-19 have been displayed on notice boards in both English and Swahili to enable every employee on site to understand the message.
Other precautions taken by the mine include social distancing through the reduction of meeting numbers and sizes, the use of skype for business, scheduling the users of change rooms and reducing the dining halls capacity by 30%.