Safety is of key importance to Mopani. Since inception in 2000, Mopani has implemented a number of safety initiatives that have contributed to the reduction in lost Time Injury Frequency from 9.3 in 2000 to 1.3 in 2014.
In a bid to continue improving its safety performance, Mopani has devised a new safety strategy, SAFEMINING, aimed at promoting safe mining practices among all its employees.
The SAFEMINING Campaign is based on the foundation of Glencore’s Safe work strategy, whose ultimate goal is to eliminate fatalities and improve safety performance across the company’s operations.
Mopani Chief Executive Officer Danny Callow explained that the focus of the campaign is on improving the current safety management systems, enhancing the safety culture and further entrenching the business continuity process.
“The SAFEMINING strategy identifies 12 Fatal Hazard Protocols which employees need to be aware of as major causes of fatalities. A set of nine relevant Life-Saving Behaviours that have a direct link to hazard protocols have also been designed,” he said.
Mr Callow stated that the loss of life or an injury at Mopani was unacceptable and that every person entering Mopani operations had the right to finish their shift safely without incident or injury.
The CEO stressed; “Our people are our most valuable asset and must be protected from the risks from the environment in which we operate. Wemust aim for Zero Fatalities and no serious injuries. To achieve this we have introduced this programme to eliminate fatalities and improve our safety performance across our operations.”
He said the campaign is intended to create awareness around the critical Life-Saving Behaviours and most common fatal hazards prevalent across Mopani operations.
“SAFEMINING means identifying our fatal hazards, improving how we operate, changing our behaviour, and protecting ourselves and our colleagues each day. Without exception and without excuse, fatalities are avoidable and I ask all Mopani employees and contractors to support this programme and work towards achieving our goal of zero fatalities across our business,” Mr Callow emphasized.
Mr Callow also explained that the SAFEMINING Campaign was not replacing any current safety strategies but an additional philosophy designed to strengthen existing policies.
And government has pledged its support towards Mopani’s SAFEMINING Campaign saying the initiative has come at a time when the government felt that there is need for mining industry to intensify safety awareness campaigns among their workforce.
Mines Deputy Minister, Richard Musukwa said: “Mopani’s SAFEMINING Campaign is a welcome initiative and Mopani has our support as government. This government has been making calls for all mining houses to adhere to globally acceptable safety practices and this campaign could not have come at a better time than this.”
Mr Musukwa said all mining houses had the duty to protect not only the lives of their workers and property but also their own integrity.
“I would like to implore other mining companies to emulate such initiatives in order to protect not only the lives of your workers and property but also your integrity by ensuring that you put measures in place that would work towards eliminating fatalities in your operations.We have since directed the Mine Safety Department (MSD) to increase supervision in the area of safety in mining companies.”
Meanwhile, MSD Director of Mines’ Safety Gideon Ndalama said as a regulatory institution, the department supports and encourages additional strategies and initiatives aimed at enhancing safe mining operations.
Mr Ndalama said: “As MSD we want to drive the mining industry to a level where we can start to report zero fatalities each year.”
Mr Ndalama urged Mopani to ensure that the SAFEMINING Campaign also touched on the culture of supervision especially in underground mining operations which are known for higher incidences compared to other operations.
Mr Ndalama pledged MSD’s support in the implementation of the SAFEMINING Campaign by Mopani.
The SAFEMINING Campaign clearly defines standards in the Fatal Hazard Protocols while the Life-Saving Behaviours are expected from every employee.
All employees are accountable to uphold and support the Life-Saving Behaviours.
The campaign encourages employees to make the safe choice and avoid consequence management for wilful violation of Life-Saving Behaviours.
Mopani has developed booklets on SAFEMINING and is implementing a number of other strategies for raising awareness of the campaign.