There were 58 new cases of occupational diseases recorded in 2019 (2018: 54). The majority of new cases in 2019 resulted from musculoskeletal disorders, neuropathic pain, silicosis and dust bronchitis.
Occupational health problems are usually the result of long-term exposure to risks such as poor ergonomics, vibration, dust or noise. The Group has measures in place to remove or reduce these risk factors where possible, for example by limiting the time that employees spend in roles which expose them to occupational health risk factors. Annual medical checks are conducted to ensure timely identification of emerging occupational health conditions.
In 2019, the Group started a new initiative to improve overall employee wellbeing, including the important area of mental wellbeing, in particular for its staff based in remote sites such as Aktogay and Bozshakol. The programme is preventative in nature but also includes services to treat mental health disorders if they occur, and there is now a clinical psychologist available with dedicated facilities at these locations.
The open pit mines at Aktogay, Bozshakol and Bozymchak reported no serious occupational health issues during 2019.