Meet our ‘COVID Champions’ from Fort Knox!

In mid-May, we launched the ‘COVID Champions’ program, a global employee recognition initiative dedicated to celebrating those who are making a difference during the COVID-19 pandemic by finding innovative ways to support their colleagues, the Company and the community.

The program aims to recognize employees who are going above and beyond to make a positive contribution in the areas of health and safety, innovation, community support and increasing team morale.

This week, we recognize three employees from Fort Knox for their contributions to health and safety and community support in Alaska. Chris Bouse, Equipment Operator, has been recognized for innovative health and safety improvements he implemented at the mine, and Greg Chapin, NDT Technician, and Mat Doherty, MEM Mechanic, for spearheading a donation to the Fairbanks food bank using winnings from the Fort Knox ‘S.O.S.’ safety program.

Since the start of the pandemic, Chris began educating himself on the transmission of the virus and searched for measures that could be put in place at the mine to protect himself and his colleagues. Chris provided numerous suggestions to management to improve their COVID-19 mitigation measures, including removing access through ‘turnstile’ gates to avoid high-touch points and creating separate entrance and exit points to reduce traffic. He also suggested increasing preventative signage across the site and implementing new procedures during shift changes to improve contact tracing, such as creating logs to track those who had been in close contact with one another in the event of an outbreak.

Chris’ innovative and proactive suggestions helped Fort Knox implement a number of measures at site. These measures were shared across our global organizations and significantly reduced the risk of outbreaks at our operations.

Greg and Mat worked on the same team at Fort Knox and were looking for ways to assist the community during this difficult time. Together, they suggested their team pull together their incentive earnings from the ‘See it, Own it, Solve it (S.O.S)’ program at Fort Knox – an employee executed safety program – and donate  them to the local food bank. The earnings from the program are typically split amongst the participants for their efforts to find safety improvements for their department.

News of the donation quickly spread across the mine and inspired others to make contributions to the food bank. To date, Greg and Mat’s initiative, along with the other teams they inspired at Fort Knox, have provided over US$3,000 to support less fortunate families during the pandemic.

Congratulations Chris, Greg and Mat for your award and hard work!

Chris Bouse, Equipment Operator, stands at the entrance to Fort Knox in front of old ‘turnstile’ gates 
Social distancing precautions suggested by Chris on a bus that transports employees to site
Greg Chapin, NDT Technician, at his desk
Mat Doherty, Mechanic Mobile/Mine at site
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