Maria Caridad Linares de Paz is a trained industrial engineer with over 30 years’ experience in the mining industry and Pierre Tousignant is an experienced health and safety professional with 25 years’ experience around the world. Both Maria Caridad and Pierre have been working at the Moa JV for the last two years, primarily focusing on changing the safety culture for over 2,000 employees and contractors on site.
Maria Caridad credits the improving safety performance to teamwork and a true focus on mentality change where, in some cases, normalized and historical practices did not align with leading health and safety performance expectations. Pierre knows the focus on targeted training and updated policies and procedures supported by management has helped this change. Maria Caridad believes that to see continuous improvement, the focus needs to be on supporting leadership, including site supervisors so that they may demonstrate the required competencies around H&S and be supported to lead their teams with safety top of mind.
Pierre feels that the Cuban workers at the Moa mine site and plant are uniquely determined to make positive change and are “wonderfully involved” in their communities, demonstrated through their volunteerism, the likes of which he has seen nowhere else in his travels.
When asked what Maria Caridad wants her legacy at the Moa mine site to be, she said “When all people coming to the site, employees and visitors, see and feel that safety comes first.”
“Great H&S performance is not an end-state, it’s a continuous journey that evolves and focuses on different things at different times. As long as one single person gets hurt, and their work and family life are impacted, we are not content.
That being said, last year significant improvements were made in H&S performance at the Moa operation. We recognize that improvements in H&S performance are not achieved by one or two people; however, the leadership and cooperation between both sides of the joint venture demonstrated by Pierre and Maria Caridad were critical in creating the positive momentum seen over the course of 2018.
We would like to recognize their vision, consistency and teamwork to achieve a tremendous turn-around in one year.”
– Ivo Gonzalez, Director, Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainability