Posted on: August 2, 2011 Posted by: Diane Swarts Comments: 0

Harmony Gold created a new post of safety and health executive in August 2011 to accelerate implementation of its ‘safety priority’ mining strategy.

Harmony appointed Alwyn Pretorius in August 2011 in the new post of safety and health executive. Pretorius was a Harmony executive for four years and former SA north region COO.

Pretorius He holds BSc Mining Engineering and a BSc Industrial Engineering degrees, and has 18 years of mining experience. His goal is to improve the mining group’s health and safety performance.

Mining safety discipline

Harmony reported at the end of the last financial year that “improved discipline and management of seismicity and falls of ground, value based safety behaviour, and visible leadership from operational management resulted in improved safety at most operations.”

The gold mining group’s health and safety strategy last year was based on;
• Commitment to ‘zero harm’ targets initiated at top management, filtering to every level through a deliberate and programmed effort
• Comprehensive safety auditing
• Agreement on key non-negotiable principles
• Leadership by management example
• continuous verbal communication with team members
• visible creation of awareness of safety related issues
• recognition of and rewarding for safety achievements
• involving all stakeholders.
• Management focus on improving underground conditions, in particular in areas deemed to be of highest potential risk, like shaft infrastructure and  underground work sites.

60% of miners engaged in mining

Harmony’s health and safety approach includes initiating empowered management teams, by establishing small, multi-disciplinary, focused management teams at each mining site, responsible for planning and implementing mining operations.

Mine site management teams set annual operational goals for production volume, grade, cost, in consultation with the executive committee, then develop an operational plan. The executive committee reviews results during the year.

Harmony said it focused on maximising productivity by structuring operations to directly engage 60% of its work force in production mining

Mining safety priority

Harmony CEO Graham Briggs said about the health and safety exec appointment, that “Safety is a priority at Harmony Gold and achieving a safe, productive Harmony is something on which we will not compromise. We have a number of safety initiatives in place that have resulted in excellent safety achievements in recent years.

“We have decided to intensify our safety efforts… in leadership skills to achieve a step change in safety performance. We adopted this approach several years ago at Kusasalethu”, said Briggs.

“Our approach is clear; safety first, then production will follow. We are committed to implementing this approach across the group.

Filling Pretorius’ former role as SA north region COO, is Jaco Boshoff, former New Business and Projects exec. Jaco is a geologist with 15 years of experience in mining.

PHOTO; Harmony Gold safety and health executive, Alwyn Pretorius, appointed in August 2011.

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