Goldcorp's Day of Remembrance: A golden opportunity to rethink safety

June 27, 2014  |  News & Trends

Goldcorp Day of RemembranceGoldcorp doesn't just give lip service to worker safety - it's a core value that runs deep. It takes its safety culture so seriously that it shut down every operation and office worldwide for a Day of Remembrance.

This special event commemorates coworkers who died because of workplace accidents - and to stop and think about ways in which each of its operations can do a better job of identifying risks and improving safety.

Think about what that means to a company the size of Goldcorp, which operates mines in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Central and South America. The lost productivity and profit must be staggering. But that's how important workplace safety is to the company.

First-hand accounts of love and loss

At Goldcorp's first annual Day of Remembrance, held on October 30, 2013, the families of those who lost their lives attended sessions and addressed the attendees.

"As they shared their powerful and emotional stories, we were all deeply touched by how these families were impacted by the loss of their loved ones. Their messages to care, think, stay alert and stay safe so that our families don't have to suffer - as they have - left a profound impact on everyone who participated," recalls the writer of a post about this event on GoldCorp's Above Ground blog.

Goldcorp Day of RemembranceThis is significantly more powerful than listening to a story about someone who was killed or injured on the job from their supervisor. It's easy to dismiss a story that doesn't touch us emotionally.

On the other hand, watching a suffering, tearful spouse or child recall their loved one who is gone forever drives home the need to think, be alert and stay safe on the job. Each worker can picture his or her spouse standing in front the room, making a similar gut-wrenching presentation and asking themselves, "What if it was me who got killed? How much suffering would that mean to MY loved ones?"

According to the blog post, the purpose of the Day of Remembrance isn't just to educate workers about safety. It's also an opportunity to encourage them to speak up and intervene if they see unsafe work practices around them. That's important, because too often workers let these questionable activities go unreported, for fear of reprisal by a coworker or supervisor.

Future plans for the Day of Remembrance

Based on the success of the first Day of Remembrance, Goldcorp plans to make it an annual event and will expand it to include "leadership training for supervisors and managers; positive flash reports to share safety behaviors done well; and access to incident investigations for all employees, focused on Potential Fatal Occurrences or PFOs."

What will YOU do?

How can you adopt the spirit of what GoldCorp has accomplished with the Day of Remembrance? What can you do to ensure that your workers don't get too comfortable or complacent around the machines they work on each day?

One way, as Goldcorp discovered, is to give them a small taste of what it would be like for their families if they were suddenly gone.

Tags: day of remembrance, goldcorp, mining, safety, safety culture

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