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03 July 2023

Supplied by PR

Surface mining industry association, ASPASA, is committed to improving the health and well-being of miners in the country.

With a vision to promote a healthy and sustainable small surface mining industry, ASPASA has been actively working alongside Occupational Health Practitioners (OHPs) to address the challenges faced by employees and enhance productivity within the industry.

South African miners face a range of issues that impact their health and overall quality of life, consequently affecting productivity and safety in the mines. Chronic diseases, limited access to medical aid coverage, long waiting times at government health institutions, and occasional medicine stockouts at clinics are some of the challenges encountered by employees. These issues result in increased absenteeism, reduced mine productivity, added stress on remaining employees, and an elevated risk of workplace accidents.

Recognising the importance of employee health and well-being, Sister Ronel Rossouw, an Occupational Health Practitioner working at a small-scale surface mine, has been working hard to improve the situation on mines she works with. She believes that prioritizing employee health not only ensures that miners receive the care and support they need but also contributes to the long-term productivity and sustainability of the country’s mines.

Health partners

ASPASA, in collaboration with OHPs like Sister Ronel, plays a crucial role in addressing these challenges and improving productivity within the surface mining industry. The association provides its member mines with access to various resources and support systems, including health and safety updates, legal compliance guidelines, environmental updates, and training and skills development opportunities.

OHPs also provide health education on chronic diseases, facilitate early treatment referrals, and assist with monitoring at the workplace or refer employees to trustworthy clinics off site.  That in turn reduces absenteeism, improves treatment compliance, and enhances workplace productivity.

Moreover, OHPs are actively engaged in promoting awareness and prevention programs related to workplace hazards and occupational injuries and diseases. These initiatives include the implementation of programs such as the Hearing Conservation Programme and Respiratory Conservation Programmes. Additionally, OHPs recognize the importance of employee mental health and are driving towards an overall well-being approach and not just occupational exposures.

ASPASA audit

Sister Ronel strongly emphasises the importance of surface mines becoming members of ASPASA. By joining ASPASA, mines can gain access to quality health services and support mechanisms that enable them to proactively address employee health concerns and enhance productivity. ASPASA’s audit program assists member mines in identifying the prevalence of chronic diseases among their workforce, allowing for targeted management strategies.

ASPASA remains dedicated to its mission of promoting a healthy and sustainable small surface mining industry in South Africa. By working in close collaboration with OHPs, the association continues to make significant strides in improving employee health and well-being, fostering a safer work environment, and enhancing overall productivity within the surface mining industry.

ASPASA, Tel: (011) 791 3327, Email: [email protected], Web: www.aspasa.co.za     


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