Wednesday, 09 September 2015

Key trends for ‘zero harm’ management emerges at MineSAFE 2015 Conference

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Key trends for ‘zero harm’ management emerges at MineSAFE 2015 Conference

JOHANNESBURG – (8 September 2015) – The main focus of the MineSAFE Conference is the industry goal of ‘zero harm’. It attracts delegates and speakers from all key stakeholder groups – business, Government and labour organisations – from across the mining industry, both locally and from abroad.  

The annual MineSAFE Conference – now in its seventh year – has continuously focused on providing high-quality, innovative and relevant best practice as it aims to promote the achievement of ‘zero harm’ across the South African mining industry. This year’s Conference, held from 26 to 28 August 2015 at Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, was no different. Throughout the Conference key trends facing our industry emerged.  

The rapid pace of change requires new ways of thinking

Stuart Hawksworth from the Health and Safety Laboratory in the UK, set the tone for this year’s conference in his keynote address about the need to adjust more rapidly to a changing and ageing world. According to Mr Hawksworth, there is still too much focus on a ‘fix-on-fail’ approach to health and safety management, relying on lagging KPIs when we need more early warning systems to prevent incidents. His sentiments were echoed by various other speakers, including Manie Bosman from Saacosh (Pty) Ltd. “The traditional ‘five-year plans’ no longer apply”, said Mr Bosman. “We need to adapt to the new environment more quickly.” The need for more immediate information that provides early warning systems was clearly illustrated by a case study from New Vaal Colliery. The operation recently implemented real-time dust monitoring systems that have proven very successful in preventing employees’ exposure to harmful dust. This system is currently being considered as a Leading Practice by the MOSH Learning Hub.  

The application of other sciences in the management of health, safety and environmental wellness

According to Mr Bosman, our industry can no longer rely on what we used to know. We have access to much more information at a much more rapid pace than ever before. This also means that the industry can use the knowledge gained through other sciences in its quest for ‘zero harm’. In recent years, the application of neuroscience principles to safety leadership and behaviour management has become a key trend in the industry. And other fields of study are also being applied by the mining industry. Behavioural science can help understand behaviour and employee engagement issues; autopsy data are being used to detect and monitor occupational lung diseases in miners; while environmental sciences are applied to environmental management and rehabilitation projects.  

Leadership remains key to managing the complexity of culture and behaviour

One thing that has become clear is that behaviour and culture are complex entities and cannot be viewed in a simplistic ‘right-and-wrong’ way. As Bernard van Vuuren from Ergoways pointed out, we need to adopt a more holistic approach to people. Understanding how the environment and in particular, leadership, affects behaviour is key in gaining employee input and support in the ‘zero harm’ journey. Khanyile Baloyi from the Chamber of Mines of South Africa believes that leadership is not static – they are always moving people someplace by trusting their followers to follow and creating opportunities for their followers to earn trust. CEO of Anglo American Coal South Africa, Themba Mkhwanazi summed it up best when he said” “Leadership has a sacred responsibility to ensure our people return home safely and healthy to their loved ones”.  

Critical Control Management, Mine Modernisation and Energy Storage are key changes

Three key issues emerged during the Conference that our presenters felt needed immediate attention. These include:

  • Critical Control Management or Key Undesirable Events that look at high potential incidents and how to manage the risk effectively;
  • Mine mechanisation and modernisation, its associated risks and its impact on the psycho-social wellness of people;
  • Energy storage and best practices for managing its growing risk to the health, safety and environment of people and communities.  

Overall, the 2015 MineSAFE Conference offered a wider variety of health, safety and environmental papers with more international perspectives on achieving ‘zero harm’, while delegates also had the opportunity to learn about both practical engineering controls and the more complex issues of people and behaviour management.  

The two-day Technical Conference leads into the Industry Awards Day. The day is dedicated to recognising the strides that have been made in the South African mining industry and the people who have made real improvements in the journey to ‘zero harm’. There are various categories of awards handed out and award recipients are as follows:  

1.     Health and Wellness Award

The Health and Wellness Award is awarded to a company that has made a significant impact on the advancement of health and wellness amongst its team members.

2nd Place:     Exxaro NBC Coal, Ephraim Skosana

1st Place:      ARM Khumani Mine, Susan Fourie  

2.     Environmental Award

The Environmental Award is given to a company that has implemented a project that has had a significant positive impact on the environment.

2nd Place:     Sasol Sigma Mine Closure, Trevor Davids

1st Place:      Glencore KZN rehabilitation for defunct operations, Kaizer Khunwane  

3.     Mines Rescue Award

The Mines Rescue Award seeks to recognise Mines Rescue Services teams that have excelled in terms of their duties and responsibilities. This year’s award recognised two teams from Harmony Gold’s Khusasalethu Mine under the leadership of Willie Bezuidenhout and Barend Porter.  

4.     Year-on-year Safety Improvement

The Year-on-year Safety Improvement Award recognises participating units who have shown a year-on-year Total Injury Frequency Rate Improvement. Awards are handed out per mining sector.  

In the Gold Division:

4th Place:      Gold One Modder East New Kleinfontein Mine, Isaac Tshabalala

3rd Place:      Harmony Gold Tshepong Mine, Simphiwe Khubeka

2nd Place:     Sibanye Gold Driefontein Mining Unit 1 Masakhane Shaft, Martin Kriel

1st Place:      Harmony Gold Bambanani Mine, Steven Green  

In the Platinum Division:

4th Place:      Anglo American Platinum Bathopele Mine, Dawie van Aswegen

3rd Place:      Impala Platinum 12 Shaft Mechanised

2nd Place:     Anglo American Platinum School of Mines, Rudi Rudolph

1st Place:      Impala Platinum 7 Shaft, Lionel Paasch  

In the Coal Division:

4th Place:      Glencore Umzimbithi Wonderfontein, Mark Cunney

3rd Place:      Glencore Umcebo Middelkraal, Dewald Vogel

2nd Place:     Sasol Mining Bosjesspruit Colliery Irenedal North Shaft, Eric Zwane

1st Place:      Total Coal SA Tumelo Coal Mine, Deon du Plooy  

In the Diamond Division:

1st Place:      Petra Diamonds Finsch Mine, Luctor Roode  

In the Base Metals Division:

4th Place:      Samancor Western Chrome Buffelsfontein East, Theo Ndabambi

3rd Place:      Glencore Kroondal Mine, Lloyd Murenzvi

2nd Place:     Glencore Mototolo-Borwa Shaft, Livhuwani Kennedy Sengani

1st Place:      Glencore Rietvly/Waterval Mine, Hobson Jantjies  

In the Process Division:

4th Place:      Lonmin EPL Concentrator, Gerald Daniels

3rd Place:      Sibanye Gold Kloof KP2, Ruan Vorster

2nd Place:     ASA Metals Smelters, Gerhard Terblanche

1st Place:      Lonmin EPC Concentrator, Peter Motlana  

In the Contractor Division:

4th Place:      Tuscan - Sasol Mining Bosjesspruit Colliery, Sindile Maqutywa

3rd Place:      MCCS - Sasol Mining Bosjesspruit Colliery, Philipus Els

2nd Place:     Frazer Alexander Bulk Mech Secunda Operations, Christo van der Walt

1st Place:      Shaft Sinkers (Pty) Ltd Leeuwkop Project, Johan Otto  

5.     Best in Class Safety Award

Recipients of the Best in Class Safety Award are determined by taking into consideration the total injuries the participating unit had, converted into a total injury frequency rate. Awards are handed out per mining sector.  

In the Gold Division:

4th Place:      Harmony Gold Tshepong, Simphiwe Khubeka

3rd Place:      Harmony Gold Joel Mine, Theo Benzien

2nd Place:     AngloGold Ashanti Surface Operations, Bryan Penny

1st Place:      Harmony Gold Target 1, Carel Joubert  

In the Platinum Division:

4th Place:      Anglo American Platinum Bathopele Mine, Dawie van Aswegen

3rd Place:      ARM Two Rivers Platinum, JJ Joubert

2nd Place:     Impala Platinum 12 Shaft Mechanised

1st Place:      Impala Platinum 7 Shaft, Lionel Paasch  

In the Coal Division:

4th Place:      Sasol Mining Bosjesspruit Colliery Irenedal South Shaft, Gabriel Mogale

3rd Place:      Glencore Umcebo Middelkraal, Dewald Vogel

2nd Place:     Sasol Mining Bosjesspruit Colliery Irenedal North Shaft, Eric Zwane

1st Place:      Total Coal SA Tumelo Coal Mine, Deon du Plooy  

In the Diamonds Division:

2nd Place:     De Beers Voorspoed Mine, Benford Letuka Mokoate

1st Place:      Petra Diamonds Finsch Mine, Luctor Roode  

In the Base Metals Division:

4th Place:      Nkomati Base Metals Nkomati Mine, Bertina Symonds

3rd Place:      Assmang (Pty) Ltd Beeshoek Iron Ore Mine, Mark Anthony Oosthuizen

2nd Place:     Glencore Ferry Alloys Mototolo Lebowa Shaft, Daniel Teboho Mohapi

1st Place:      Glencore Rietvly Mine, Hobson Jantjies  

In the Process Division:

3rd Place:      Lonmin EPL Concentrator, Gerald Daniels

2nd Place:     Lonmin Assay Laboratory, Lionel Simpson

1st Place:      Lonmin EPC Concentrator, Peter Motlana  

6.     JT Ryan Award

For this year’s Industry Day Awards, two JT Ryan Awards were handed out – one for surface operations and one for underground operations. To be considered for the JT Ryan Award, the participating unit’s situation on the closing date of 30 June 2015 was evaluated against its progressive fatality free shifts on the closing day. If no clear winner emerges, then the Progressive Injury Free Days for the last three years are taken into consideration.  

Surface Operations:                  AngloGold Ashanti Surface Operations, Bryan Penny

Underground Operations:          Lonmin 4B/1B Shaft, Lucky Mnisi  

7.     Most Improved Mining Company

The Most Improved Mining Company Award is selected by the Head of Safety at the Chamber of Mines. This year’s award went to Lonmin. In addition to the above awards, the Conference also recognised innovative projects in Health, Safety and Environmental Management that had been implemented by a company. In terms of Health, Jan de Jager and Andrew Thompson from New Vaal Colliery received recognition for their efforts in the implementation of real-time dust monitoring equipment that reduced employees’ exposure to harmful dust in the workplace. At Anglo American Platinum’s Bathopele Mine, Dawie van Aswegen and his team were recognised for their work on a Vehicle Detection System that seeks to eliminate trackless mobile equipment collisions. At the same time, Bathophele also tested a Pedestrian Detection System that provides additional safety to employees working in or travelling around trackless mobile equipment. Mongezi Veti, Joseph Matjila and Marius Fuls from Exxaro received recognition for their environmental efforts in relocating rhinoceros from Exxaro’s Manketti Game Reserve to Orapa Game Reserve in Botswana.   

Since its inception in 2009, the MineSAFE Conference has continued to grow, adding additional papers and topics to its programme. Initially aimed at primarily hard rock mining, the Conference has expanded to include all areas of mining, including the coal mining industry and, more recently, the metallurgical division. Because of its focus on quality technical papers that offer practical solutions aligned to current issues and legislation, the Conference has been able to secure high level speakers and presenters from across the globe.

For additional media material, including images, videos and fact sheets, please visit www.newsrelease2015.minesafe.co.za.   For more information on the Conference itself, please visit www.minesafe.co.za or contact Raymond van den Berg, Conference Coordinator (011 834 1273/7, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.