Minerals Council steps in to fix South Africa’s safety performance

The South African mining industry’s August safety performance – the worst month of the year – was a red flag that the Minerals Council South Africa could not ignore. It has agreed to revitalise a range of safety interventions in the sector to ensure safer working environments.

The industry recorded eight fatalities in August, bringing the total number of deaths year-to-date to 36  – the same as the prior year period. The council said this is “deeply disappointing” due to an encouraging first seven months of the year that saw record safety achievements in fall of ground and trackless mobile machinery-related fatalities.

Through increased visible felt leadership and CEO-ship, the council’s board members have agreed on the following actions for the prevention of fatalities in the last months of the year: 

1. Re-commitment to the eight measures agreed at the special board meeting on safety in December 2021. 

2. Planning and resourcing: ensuring proper planning, supervisory oversight and adequate team resourcing in people, materials and equipment. 

3. Winches proposal: the Minerals Council establishes a multi-disciplinary team to explore alternative ways of cleaning broken ore from working areas. 

4. Trackless mobile machinery: ensuring controls such as proximity detection systems and/or collision prevention systems are effective. 

The Minerals Council said it “is committed to zero harm and will continue to collaborate tirelessly with the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, organised labour and other stakeholders to ensure every mineworker returns from work unharmed.”

Source: Minerals Council South Africa

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