Barrick Gold Exposure Data Management System
“Medgate has allowed us to collect and manage Industrial Hygiene data more efficiently and consistently than previous methods, which has enhanced our ability to focus on specific issues and improve the working environment for our employees.”
— Tom Chism, Senior Manager, Occupational Health
When Barrick Gold committed to developing a comprehensive health program several years ago, the Occupational Health team recognized the need to refine and expand their existing data collection and analysis methods. The program is designed to identify and control potential health hazards using health risk assessments and monitoring of dust, chemical concentrations, noise levels, and other aspects in the workplace.
The existing exposure data collection methods (spreadsheets, paper files, and lab reports) did not provide all the desired functionality.
Barrick wanted the ability to:
- Track historical exposures or similar exposure groups (SEGs)
- Confirm statistical validation of exposure profiles or SEGs
- Provide consistent global exposure limits to evaluate exposures
- Take a consistent approach to reporting findings and implementing corrective actions
The Occupational Health team, led by Tom Chism, needed an exposure database management application that would meet all of the above needs. This application would need to collect, store and manage the data, as well as provide a central depository for the collection of personalized and task exposure data. In addition, they wanted the data to automatically update health risk registers and be available to the company’s medical providers responsible for exposure-based medical surveillance programs.
Barrick evaluated 11 potential vendors in its selection process and rated each on functionality, service and cost. Medgate was chosen over its competitors.
Key Reported Benefits
- Centralized Data Management
- Reliable Information
- Easier analysis of similar exposure groups
- Bridging the language barrier for international locations
- Improvement in productivity and quality of work benefits
“Medgate has provided a central data management system that collects historical data over time,” says Chism. “It allows us to analyze similar exposure groups with the aid of statistics and standardized occupational exposure limits (OELs) and report the results to our management teams. Reliable information helps us make good decisions to correct deficiencies and improve the working environment.”
Chism goes on to note that “Medgate has also allowed us to bridge the language barrier by providing a common application that both our English and Spanish- speaking health professionals can understand. This helps to improve their productivity and the quality of their work.”
Since the 2006 start, Barrick now has 25 operating mines in North America, South America, Australia and Africa using the Medgate IH application. The company is now planning to upgrade to the latest version of Medgate (Medgate GX2), and is considering expanding use of Medgate, developing new dashboards and tracking methods for biological data. The use of the application will continue to be part of the company’s day-to-day business, providing ongoing value to their Industrial Hygiene practice.