The International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) recently released its 2018 safety data which unfortunately found 50 fatalities occurring across its international members’ operations representing a 2 per cent decrease from 2017.
Africa suffered the most fatalities at 44% while South Africa accounted for 28% of the total fatalities across ICMM members. This is against a background of a 16% increase in the total hours worked by companies globally, with South Africa’s total hours worked at 17%.
Factors impacting safety performance in the mining sector are numerous and varied, and in South Africa, working in mines is considered more hazardous than other countries. However, South African executives and industry leaders are taking the right steps to mitigate this risk and deal with these issues.
During the Investing in Africa Mining Indaba which took place earlier this year, DuPont Sustainable Solutions hosted industry leaders to discuss the barriers to implementing effective safety and operational risk reduction strategies, especially among the front-line employees within an organisation.
In the report summary, panelists agreed proper risk and safety assessment is of paramount importance and must be addressed holistically within the South African operating context. This can be achieved by focusing on cultivating a strong safety culture at all levels, upskilling employees and introducing new technologies and digital capabilities that can reduce risk and support a more proactive and risk-based approach.