Moving into a third year without a
fatality, members of surface mining industry association, Aspasa are leading
the way with the adoption of advanced health and safety systems that are
designed to minimise injuries on their mines.
This is a remarkable feat considering
that the association represents hundreds of mining operations including
quarries, surface, dimension stone, salt and other mainly small and medium
sized operations and accounts for a sizeable portion of the overall manpower
employed in the mining sector.
Following the release of the Chief Inspector
of Mines, David Msiza’s, statement on mine health and safety statistics, the
association’s director, Nico Pienaar, said he was pleased that the associations
members had a played their part in reducing fatalities and injuries on site.
The inspector has reported 81 fatalities from other sectors of the industry
during 2018. The figures given by the CIOM show that 40 were in the gold
sector, 12 in platinum, 9 in coal and 20 in the “other” part of the sector. The
CIOM point out these are in the diamonds, chrome, copper and iron ore
operations. There are none in the commodities Aspasa represents. Due to Aspasa also
being able to have members in surface mines, those mines could benefit from
Pienaar said the association mainly
represented members in the non-precious metal, stone and coal industries
although membership is open to all surface mining types. Its remarkable record
stems from the adoption of its own strict health and safety program that need
to be adhered to in order to secure and maintain membership.
Based on ISO standards and adapted to
cater for local requirements, the systems are audited annually, and
non-compliances communicated directly to responsible persons on the mine. In
the event of serious transgressions, the mine is given a fixed period of time
to rectify the problem or have its membership revoked.
Although strict, the health and safety
program also highlight good achievements and it has become a prestigious feat
to excel in the program among the industry’s health and safety professionals.
Ongoing workshops dealing with specific areas of concern as highlighted by the
Department of Mineral Resources, as well as the industry and unions are also
hosted by professionals in these fields.
“Aspasa plays an active role and takes
the lead in formulating regulations and best practices that prevent injuries
and save lives. We work with the industry, workers and Government to find
workable solutions that not only prevent injuries but contribute towards better
practices on our mines.
“As a result of these efforts we are
continuously approached by other sectors of the mining industry to represent them
and have recently expanded from only representing quarries, to a much broader
base. We were also recognised as being a
world leader in the fields of health and safety by our peers in the Global
Aggregate Information Network, which represents similar associations from
across the globe.
“We remain committed to the industry’s
Zero Harm 2020 targets and continue to work tirelessly towards assisting the
industry to achieve this goal. Surface miners who wish to become part of the
association are free to do so and may get in contact with our offices,” concludes
More information from Aspasa, Tel: +27(0)11 791 3327 / Email: [email protected] / www.aspasa.co.za