Regular Safety Assessments For Mines

South Africa. At Friday’s Tripartite Leadership summit, the South African Chamber of Mines (COM) stated that its members would willingly undergo regular assessments of their effectiveness as Health and Safety leaders.

COM president Sipo Nkosi said the mining industry was mindful of the harm brought by injuries and fatalities, and added that its members were actively endorsing the targets of zero harm, as well as the tripartite milestones that have been agreed to, in order to reach this target.

"In my view, this is a meaningful development that illustrate the determination of chief executives to confront and overcome the scourge of workplace death and injuries," Nkosi said.

He identified three significant areas of improvement namely culture framework, safer and healthier working places, and learning industries. He noted that the industry had to build a culture of transformation through which zero harm was to be achieved.

"From an employer perspective, it is a commitment to the agreement that Health and Safety measures must be initiated at the highest levels of organisation authority, which refers to the CEOs."

He added that the adoption of a stakeholder partnership culture, and the rejection of a blame culture was a critical prerequisite to a good Health and Safety performance. "Obstacles to partnerships, such as incentive schemes with an overwhelming emphasis on production, will be abandoned. In this context, it is important that CEOs of industry agree that Health and safety are critical elements of all incentive schemes."

Nkosi unequivocally stated that Occupational Health and Safety would take precedence over production. "We believe that Occupational Health and Safety incidents are preventable and we recognise the role to be played by properly trained Occupational Health and Safety officers.

To support that, there is also commitment to the development of guidelines to address the right of an employee to refuse to perform dangerous work."

Source: Mining Weekly
By: Esmarie Swanepoel
Published: 5th September 2008

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