Minerals Council of South Africa, Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE), and other industry stakeholders, have committed to striving for zero fatalities and injuries in the mining sector.
The move follows the two fatal mining incidents at the Impala Platinum Mine in Rustenburg. In a joint statement, industry stakeholders led by the department noted the increase in the amount of fatalities due to mining accidents over the past year.
“The urgency of interventions to address health and safety and, more specifically, the continued loss of life of the employees in the mining sector cannot be understated. The industry is concerned and shocked by the deaths of 69 people so far this year compared to 48 in the same period last year. This is the second consecutive year of regression in fatalities and the industry’s stakeholders have committed to urgently address the unacceptable situation,” said the stakeholders.
Safe mining practices
To address the growing number of fatalities, all role players would be taking “full accountability in addressing the challenges besetting” the industry. A priority action to promote the COVID-19 vaccinations to support the physical and mental health of employees and reduce the disruptions to operations, both of which will enable all stakeholders to have a renewed focus on occupational safety.
The implementation of the five-year R46 million investment on the implementation of Fall of Ground action plan launched at the Minerals Council’s National Day of Health and Safety in Mining held in July 2021. Implementation of a holistic, risk-phased plan on collision-prevention systems with ecosystem readiness for industry-wide adoption by December 2023. Adoption of safe mining practices including the use of safe equipment to favourably respond to the divergent challenges experienced by some mining operations.
Conducting a statistical analysis of all fatalities over the last decade using international leading practice methodologies and proposing an action plan to eliminate all other risks effectively through for example modern training methods.