So. Africa: Mining industry association's initiative to address 'unacceptable' rise in work-related fatalities
Author: Tehillah Niselow, fin24 (So. Africa), Published on: 20 August 2018
"Mining industry to tackle 'unacceptable' rise in deaths"
The Minerals Council of South Africa launched a National Day of Safety and Health in Mining, calling the "current crisis" unacceptable. The initiative will see all 66 mining companies who are members of the industry body holding safety and health days at their operations over the coming month. There have been 58 mining deaths in 2018 alone, up from 51 in 2017, which was also an increase from the 2016 fatality figures.
Sibanye-Stillwater has accounted for 20 of these deaths, and faces the wrath of trade unions and the Department of Mineral Resources. CEO Neal Froneman said the high number of fatalities at their operations has been "traumatic...We’ve stumbled as an industry. We’ve definitely stumbled, but our resolve is clear and evident in terms of getting back on track and breaking through the barrier and getting back down to our zero-harm targets," Froneman told the media after the launch...
Froneman, who is also a Vice President of the Minerals Council, said that improving safety was a combination of continuously engineering out risk and changing people’s attitudes to encourage them to withdraw from unsafe conditions. According to Chris Griffith, CEO of Anglo-American and head of the CEO's zero-harm forum, mining bosses are required to be visible to set the example from the top down and show that it’s not about production at all costs. He said that some of the successful changes made include reducing miners’ exposure when entering a workplace for the first time after blasting, and introducing bolts and nets inside mining stopes.