Speaker 0 00:00:00 In the early two thousands, the South African mining industry carried an inescapable risk for its workers, a lack of innovative tools, minimal research, and poor organization cultures mean that minus went to work without knowing if they return home safely. Over two decades later, the industry can boast a sterling improvement in managing health and safety, a very critical factor in every mining operation. Hi, I'm Roelle bta, and in this episode, our multimedia journalist Mohu talks to Doctors Cwe Pakar, the Head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Minerals Council South Africa, about preserving a minus life.
Speaker 1 00:00:46 Hello and warm. Welcome to Deep Insights on Mining Review, Africa. My name is, Thank you. And GaN, thank you once again for tuning in. Our topic for today is on the evolution of health and safety in the South African mining industry. A crucial topic really that will highlight just how far the South African mining industry has come with not just productivity, but with the preservation of the lives of the thousands that work underground and on the surface. In 2018, the Minerals Cancel. South Africa launched the National Day of Health and Safety in mining to demonstrate efforts made by the industry in addressing health and safety related issues. To find out about Doc Progress, we are joined by Dr. Czu pti. He is the head of Safety and Sustainable Development at Minerals Council South Africa. Dr. Sis, were welcome and thank you for joining us today.
Speaker 2 00:01:45 Thank you. Seeing you. Thanks for the opportunity.
Speaker 1 00:01:49 So we have seen your numerous presentations on health and safety at the Minerals Council that have proven as if just said before we went on air, your passion for getting the safety message across. Briefly tell us about your career background and what propelled you into the health and safety space.
Speaker 2 00:02:10 Thank you for that. Yeah. I can take you back to my university. Yes. I mean, that's how I will trace back my response to your question. When I was studying, um, I studied at Vet University. There was an opportunity at the time where there was what we call the collaborative research program that was focusing on mining at ultra deep levels. It was a consortium, um, under the abess of the Consult for Scientific and Sterile Research Mining Technology Division, CS I R. And it involved universities, it involved mining companies, it will involve other research organizations. Um, and there was a technology, human resources innovation program, of which the Department of Trade and Industry was part of this. So this program looked at extending the life of the mining industry, equality gold, you know, at the time, from a point of view of technology, technical perspective, and ge, there were still all deposits lying at depth of 3000 meters or three kilometers down, down the palace of the, of the A, you know.
Speaker 2 00:03:30 So, um, but since the, the problem was multidisciplinary, there was a request by other stakeholders to say, As much as we want to manage alterative levels and extending the lives of these, uh, gold mining companies, there will still be people working there. We also need people who will go and talk to workers, frontline workers, because you'll need a new kind of employee. What kind of skills? What about the living conditions? What about training? So, um, I was at Vet at that time just about to embark on my postgraduate studies. I think I was about to do my honors and that opportunity came and, and that's how I got involved in, in, in mining, and particularly from, from the safety, uh, point of view. And, and as I was doing my honors, the Deep Mind program, which I mentioned earlier, then funded my studies and it meant going to their minds and talking to workers.
Speaker 2 00:04:36 And I lived in their mind host at the time, so that I can understand mm-hmm. <affirmative>, the, the, the, the challenge from the, from the point of view of of of mind makers, we called that participant observation. I went there with other professors and other research, uh, team members, uh, spent and extended time there. And that became the topic of my, of my honors. And I took that to my masters while being a part of the Deep Mind program. And one of the outcomes of the Deep Mind collaborative research project was the, the, the development of the next generation of researchers. So I was regard as one of those, and we had others in other disciplines as what, So, so a fantastic opportunity that I grabbed as a student, researched, went underground and lived the life practically as close as possible, the life of a deep level mind worker.
Speaker 2 00:05:35 I was not seeking coffee in the office with management or trade notice. Yeah. You know, I would talk to management. Yeah. So I would live there. I messed myself in their day to day working lives, eating what they were eating in their mind, hostels in the kitchens, uh, sleeping in those shed, you know, um, you know, compound rooms that were there at the time. Things have changed now, but it was still a, a hostile system where about three to about five or six workers sharing a room. Yeah. So, so that's, I would wake up and go underground with them spending extended period of time in the workplace, participating in their work activities, being a student to a point that I was just regarded as one of them keeping my journal. And I went back to university, I wrote this as a research report. I took it to the next level to my master's.
Speaker 2 00:06:31 Same topic. Extended. Yeah. And one important discover from that, um, piece of work was the mind work class, informal work practice of making a plan. How do they respond to production bottlenecks? You know, they can count the challenges in the, in the, in the working phase where the point of production at the rock face, and they have these targets to meet, you know, they rely on their experiential knowledge, which in my writing psychology double edge sort, you know, because it has pros or advantages when workers get to be able to resolve those challenges relating to safety or production or productivity, they will be commended and praised, you know? Mm. Uh, especially in situations where it doesn't result in an accident or in injury. So it, it, it, it, it, it, they draw a lot from a tacit knowledge or on the job experience. But there are cases, when I say it's a double edge sword to the other side of the coin of this informal work practice of making a plan or ma plan.
Speaker 2 00:07:43 Yeah. If you really, um, take it back to the mining pigeon or the mining limb of Fran, of FGA law, call it Nna ma plan, you know, it's from Africans, but then in, in, in the al law language of minor, as they call it, plan is, is taking shortcuts. Okay. But if, if it results in plan, so you see, yes, yeah. Plan if it results in, in injuries and workers would be blamed. But there are a variety of circumstances that compare, um, for line mining team members or production crews to engage in such. So that was quite a, an important discovery from my work at, at, at that level as a student masters taking it further to my PhD, which I did at Oxford University. And I've published couple of papers from such a research and somewhere award doing and peer reviewed papers that top manage to, to, to get from that piece of research. And of course, that has led me to, to the mining industry where I am today. And, and that work has definitely, in my view, um, Blake, an instrumental role in my carer to where I am and my contribution to the investors. I've worked as, I've worked with a number of leading mining companies that have also opened doors for my research. Um, and I've shared my, my, my writings, publications, and my thesis to the company that allowed me to do research in their, in their workplace settings.
Speaker 1 00:09:23 Dr. Zu, we are gonna touch slightly on, on the papers that you, one of the papers that you've published. But I really do want to command you for having previously gone into the trenches, just to understand, you know, a life of a minor, an underground, and, and just to try to know all the facets that involve how a minor works. I think, I think that must have been a significant moment for your career, and it played a huge role. Must have played a huge role in, in where you are today.
Speaker 2 00:09:56 Absolutely. Absolutely. Um, yeah. Yeah. I mean, I remember I was in, I was in London, um, yeah, I mean, I went to Oxford on a Commonwealth scholarship. Um, we went on on, on a tour to Winsa not far from where the Queen lives. Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:10:17 Um, I think we went to, um, Yeah, yeah. Not far from the Windsor Castle, and we met some of the scholarship, uh, staff I members, and I remember sitting on the table having dinner, and I once said, What, what is PhD on? And then I started explaining and said, Oh, I remember when we were evaluating your, your scholarships, we came across a topic like this. We wondered about how you were gonna pull it Yeah. How you were gonna do it, but your proposal convinced us. We were worried about your safety, but we let, I'm glad that I'm sitting with you next to me Yeah. And having this, and, and for me, definitely. Yeah. Um,
Speaker 1 00:11:02 How highlight,
Speaker 2 00:11:03 Yeah. I started with those deep mind, um, collaborative research projects while I was at vets Yeah. Publishing, uh, doing my honors and master's publications to, to my, to my PhD and, and I wanted to come back after my PhD to plow back and, and value, and with all this knowledge, uh, yes, indeed. It has definitely shaped my, my charact tremendously
Speaker 1 00:11:28 Anyway. Yeah. And I think it's also very important and commendable, um, to come back, as you said, to give back and, and, and to, So the knowledge that you have given many of us, especially today, once we get the knowledge, you know, we never come back, you know, you don't see us back again on, on our shows. And I think really it is commendable that you're here making a difference in, in South Africa's mind and landscape, um, pertaining to health and safety. So, Dr. Si, the purpose of the session, as say previously is to highlight the vast health and safety differences between then and now. So in their paper title, Safety In, in South African Minds, I'm sure you're very much aware of that. This was published in 1988. Dr. SNA and JP Leger argued that the mining industry was withholding important safety data and not necessarily reporting on all fatalities, but surely with the general state of development in the industry, things have changed. So now my question is how far have we come with reporting? How, how far we have we come with that, and what processes and strategies has the Minerals Council put in place to ensure truthful reporting?
Speaker 2 00:12:49 We are very much a transparent mining industry when it comes to reporting health and safety incidents, speed fatalities, injuries, or even occupational illnesses.
Speaker 1 00:13:02 Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:13:03 So we have evolved over the years for the better, You know, and for us, information is crucial. It helps us to make decisions. Right now at the Minerals concept, you know, we have a number of initiatives focusing on just data. You know, we are having, looking on modernizing our information management systems through digitizing, digitizing our safety information, making sure that we have real time information that helps us to make better and faster decisions. You know, in health and safety, there are no egos. We cannot withhold information. We don't compete when it comes to health and safety. I chair, uh, one of the committees of the Minerals Council, the Occupational Health and Safety Policy Committee. So one exceptional committee where even Nons concern member companies are able to join, you know, and partake in the meetings and other things that we share on, on, We, we, we with that committee members.
Speaker 2 00:14:13 So, uh, we have evolved really, uh, for the better, even better than even other industries. Sure. In the earliers of mining as per gene ledgers. And, and the other coauthor in that paper, which I've read, you know, numerous times I've cited it, um, Yeah, indeed. We know in the earliers colonial and years of mining, uh, surely the lives of workers were considered cheap. Um, Yeah. You know, systems were not in place, so they unjust, uh, labor practices did indeed affect the reporting. Uh, we've seen our industry transforming, uh, the safety and health culture over the years. So one of my task as I joined the Millers Concern in 2012, as we have called the Chamber of Mines, we had just initiated, um, a project called the Culture Transformation Framework. Yeah. Which one of the pillars are focusing on data management information. And we have other stakeholders that we work with today from government through the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, as well as organized labor, the trades organizing and the mining in at the Mind Health and Safety concept, which is a Tite institution that we are proud of.
Speaker 2 00:15:34 Uh, and it was an outcome of that, uh, Leon Commission inquiry into occupational health and safety demanding in that was, um, audited by our first democratically elected president, the police Mandel, you know, and it has really attracted a new dawn for the South African mining in occupational health and safety, which, um, revised mind health and safety legislation. The, the, the, the, the Mind Health and Safety Council itself mm-hmm. Which is a, a trip type body looking over research that is being conducted on health and safety and the minister advising the minister mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So really we have evolved and, and data, back to your questions, we have evolved for the better. And, and data for us is crucial.
Speaker 1 00:16:28 You said just now that you joined the Minerals Council, then the Chamber of Mines in 2012, and with the lots of data that you've received on average, which sectors have maintained the highest fatalities and which have, have been striving.
Speaker 2 00:16:46 Yeah. Look, um, our goal and platinum have been giving us challenges. So the years, and, and, and, and it has to do with the ge, not an excuse per se mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but from the areas of mining, um, you know, our, all deposits have been located and are still located in ultra levels. I told you about the project area on, in many minds have gone deeper. I mean, we had minds like Anglo Gold, Ash, some of those minds have been taken over by harmonic gold to still have siani still water, gold operations and, and, and others. And Una as well, to some extent, there are also deep level hard rock minds. Mm-hmm. So fall off ground, uh, you know, gravity induced fall off ground due to rock stresses. Yeah. Ity have proven to be a challenge over the years. Um, and I must say, as much as they still a challenge for us, giving us sleepless nights, we have introduce initiatives that have made things better, and we are not gonna relax.
Speaker 2 00:18:01 We still have a lot to do. So, true. In 2009, the minerals Cancel lot, the chamber at the time, um, you know, formed what we called the Marsh Learning Hub, which had to do with the adoption of leading practices. And we looked at key safety risks. All of ground was one. And the innovations that we have put in place in terms of leading practices was mining with nets and bolts, you know? Okay. Where we mind with and bolts of bolts so that should there be a fall of ground, these nets that trap this Yeah. These many lives have been saved, you know, with netting. With netting. I mean, I think you were at our fall of ground deal flaming Absolutely. End of much this year. And some companies that presented there, they did highlight that, you know, we had Yeah. From how many, I think I remember one we had, Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:18:57 We had numerous testimonies from frontline employees as well, You know, just from their experience sharing that how much these net have, have, have been, you know, so meaningful to their lives by saving their lives. So that's, that's one. And, and if we look at our full of drug safety performance, it has improved over the years since we introduced those dating practice, even when it comes to transport. Yeah. I know. Now I'm telling you about causes transport related, um, accidents where you have your vehicle to al interactions. Yeah. S to persons interactions. There's a lot of fleet in some of their minds, uh, mobile equipment mm-hmm. Underground or pen custom minds. So we have a project focusing on collision prevention systems, and with our most learning up, we also had leading practice for on proximity detection systems. I'm sure. Yeah. If you are not driving one of those fancy cars like a BMW or when park it beeps, it warns you when you're parked to, So we have what we call proximity detection systems or these big cons, you know, where they, they sensors, you know, they warn me, you know, so, but excellence still do happen nonetheless.
Speaker 2 00:20:16 And now we are moving to a point of really engineering out that risk with transport related, um, uh, accidents where we want to return the machines that even when the operator for some reason is absent, mind end is fatigue. You know, we don't rely on the operator, but we, these machines can just fade. You know, they can just cattail, um, you know, if they're in motion, they just stop, you know? Sure. So, so, so, and you'll find a lot of those fall of ground mainly in our gold and platinum. Okay. But fall of ground can also happen in other commodities like coal chrome. Okay. We have seen that even in inquiries. Inquiries like your sand aggregate type of, um, mining that happens there. So, so, but it has been predominantly fall ground in, in, in the gold and platinum. I'm giving the geology and the, and the depth and the, and the, and the type of mining still conventional to a large, though our minds are modernizing, but with code, um, many of the coal mines are mechanized, and the skill profile of the coal mines is different to those that we find, especially for workers in elementary occupa patients.
Speaker 2 00:21:33 Yeah. You'll find in gold and platinum cold, we are much more comparable than our peers in other mining restrictions in Australia, USA, and Canada. You know, and ji there you more or less, I would say you are more comparing April. With April. So cold platinum have been our major contributors risk sectors. Yeah. And, and, and cold coal, not so much. But not to say coal has, is not challenged. Yeah. I can tell you this year, coal has been very challenged, gold and Latin. I would like to highlight disciplinary mm-hmm. With other initiatives that we have put in place. I've just mentioned mining with nets and bolt. I mentioned the proximity detection systems mm-hmm. For transport, mining witness and bonds for fall of ground. But I must say in the last four, three years, the other thing that we have observed to do with our fall of ground, Mm.
Speaker 2 00:22:39 It has been stagnant. You know, we've not been getting this, you know, what desired step we've plateaued, you know? Mm-hmm. So in 2020, um, we reflected on this and to our CEO zero arm forum at Thes Concern, which is a health and safety leadership forum of CEOs of member companies. We, we came to a point that we need and to do more Yeah. You know, to really arrest this st statin FG safety performance that we saw. And we launched what we call the fall of round action plan last day at our National Day of Health and Safety in mining, which is a 46 mid investment over five years. And, you know, that we looking at things like leading practices, again, as I mentioned earlier on, and I must tell you that this year we launched the workplace lighting leading practice at our National Day of Health and Safety and Mining.
Speaker 2 00:23:37 That we, we, we lo we, we, we, we held on the 3rd of August this year, focusing on research and development skills development for, and updating the rock engineering and material as well. Not only focusing on, on, on rock engineers, but also frontline employees, issues of police, issues of, um, operational discipline, culture and behavior, as well as implementation and monitoring. And I must say that we've been encouraged in the first six months of this year, six to seven months, where our golden platinum minds remained f og fertility free. We had not seen this in the yet. Yes. Before it was, this is a historic, um, you know, um, milestone for the industry. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, we have since had a fall of ground reported in August. Yeah. But I must say, uh, we are starting to see, um, uh, that these, these actions are appearing food for us when it comes full of ground transport collision prevention systems.
Speaker 2 00:24:42 We are working with universities, we are working with suppliers as well. We are working with other stakeholders. We are seeing some change, some, some encouraging trends. We saw that, especially, especially with trackless mobile machinery. Yeah. In the first six months of this year. However, we still challenge particularly with our ES in our older blood minds. And to that effect, on the 15th of September this year, we are holding another day of learning focusing on es mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So it was quite a longwinded kind of response, but I think I getting mouth, mouth fully to that question, but both of bold platinum, let me say this thing, you went, a number of minds are, have made great strides. We've seen increasing numbers of, of member companies, even minds that are going for longer periods without fatalities, you know? So, uh, yeah. In year out this numbers is increasing. It's very encouraging for us, and it does show that it is possible to achieve the arm. Exactly. In our industry, we have our, and some operations, I know, even plant surface operations, they go without giving, having a scratch
Speaker 1 00:25:59 Vitality or injury. So,
Speaker 2 00:26:01 Yeah. So
Speaker 1 00:26:02 That's amazing.
Speaker 2 00:26:02 That's it. On, on that, I think.
Speaker 1 00:26:06 No, just to add a little bit on that one. Um, regarding full of grounds, I mean, that's a major contributor to mind fatalities and, and, um, yesterday, in fact, I was at, uh, electro mining in Nas rq, and I was just walking around in the exhibitors hall and, and with the eye of focusing on health and safety on which technologies, you know, are in to, to aid with that. I walked past, uh, the safety detection systems as you spoke about. And really the latest technologies with that are quite impressive. And we really hope that, you know, they will help with decreasing these numbers. I walked past another exhibition stand where there was, um, l e d lighting, which is also quite an, an important factor with, with safety, you know, adequate lighting is quite important for, for effective mining. I think I also walked past, um, an exhibition stand where they had this new tire clamp, an automatic tire clamp that allows the operator to just clamp it and sit step back, um, so that it can just unal itself, you know? And that's, that's amazing. So really, I'm just adding to what you are saying that it proves that, you know, technology is also helping in, in advancing and making sure that people stay safe in, in all mining operations.
Speaker 2 00:27:28 Absolutely. Thank you. I mean, technology, we are embracing technology. Mm-hmm. And I think that debate has much short, um, and you mentioned delighting. I mean, I mentioned our launch of our scope illumination leading practice at our national health safety on the 3rd of August. I mean, there's lot of benefits from that. You know, we had testimonies from companies such as Alan, which is a northern Latin mine mind, American platinum deba mine. Yeah. So you, you're quite right. And we have entities like the Mandela Mining present in the industry working on these technologies and modernizing our minds. That's the future. And our hope we are pining our hopes on technology as well.
Speaker 1 00:28:21 Absolutely. Now, let's talk about the human relations aspect of things. Is victimization still an issue that minors don't want to risk facing when refusing to work under risky conditions? And, and how are we dealing with those grievances?
Speaker 2 00:28:41 Yeah. The issue of victimization, it's one that we cannot tolerate. Uh, I mentioned the cultural transformation framework. Um, we, our industry has transformed Yeah. Uh, for the better. Uh, we cannot really condone, um, you know, autocratic, uh, supervisory leadership or management styles. Yeah. We have the Mind Health and Safety Act where employees are empowered. Mm. Section 23 of the Mind Health and Safety Act, and employee has a right to withdraw and refuse working in an unsafe place. Mm. Many companies now have with blowing systems or where workers can report these things. Um, and we have what we call self post section 50 fours where mines themselves can stop work that is encouraged mm-hmm. <affirmative> through the Mind Health and Safety Council, you know, we, we issued a guideline on section 23, you know, how companies can go about implementing this guideline to empower us Yeah.
Speaker 2 00:30:01 To withdraw from unsafe working, uh, areas. Surely, you know, victimization and error, I think of frontline supervision. We need to look at that. Yeah. And, and of course, leadership is key to this. You know, the top leadership of companies need to set their tone Yeah. And shape their culture because such things of the termination has to do with the state of the health and safety culture of that organization. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, how we do things around here, you know, if such things are happening, it says a lot about the organizational culture of that company where workers can be victimized, and that in itself, it's a hazard victimization in itself. It's a hazard. So, so well that's something that we fr upon heavily, um, as, as, as the, as the body representing organized business in the mining industry, our CEOs with the values that they have our co forum leadership forum.
Speaker 2 00:31:09 Yeah. We have an full attention focusing on these things. We have what we called the just Culture Accountability framework, which we launched last year. We developed it. Companies are busy implementing that, uh, ascertain whether there are any gaps, uh, to be addressed, and what actions do they need to put in place. Okay. Because with the just culture accountability framework, it's one thing blaming their work, but what about their role of the frontline supervisor? What about their role of the executive? You know, maybe that email that was there that was sent did, did, did they act quickly enough on it or not? You know, so the just culture accountability framework, it looks holistically of, of a variety of SEEK that may have triggered a particular noncompliance with a particular incident. Well, workers have to play a role as well. I mean, they're empowered, but again, the issues of making sure that we have what we call the safe production culture mm-hmm.
Speaker 2 00:32:17 <affirmative> and the safe production incentives, bonuses, not bonuses that encourage workers to bypass safety at the expense. You know, I mean, trying to, to chase targets production targets at the expense of safety. So it's, it's a holistic thing. And I think we've evolved, uh, better with that. There are still challenges. So, um, yeah. But that will be my take. Um, and, and our culture transformation from work, it's, it's, it says there's a, there's a minimum standard under P L four, which is focusing, I think it's pillar five, Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> discrimination or where we, we, we are against any form of it or covid, uh, covid forms of, of discrimination needs and victimization, I would call it. Yeah. It's something that falls under it and something that we, it's not tolerated.
Speaker 1 00:33:16 And we do hold, um, our listeners and being a large majority of, of, of, of minors, um, after hearing this will be encouraged to go forth and refuse to, to work if an environment is not safe to, to, to work. And, um, so now we spoke about, um, incentives. You mentioned something about incentives, and that connects to my next question in the book, Production Safety and Teamwork. In a deep level, Mining workplace Perspectives from the Rock face, you cited that some of the reasons that safety protocols have been overlooked is because workers and supervisors have been more focused on reaching production targets, as you said, that will lead to production bonuses. Should we really focus on bonuses? Is is this a question of doing the right work because of getting a bonus? Or is it, um, a question of being responsible so that we can preserve life? How have you tackled that one? Yeah,
Speaker 2 00:34:17 I mean, production and safety in our context of mining, that those two things are inseparable. You know, they go hand in hand. There's no way you can really go about your day to day production tasks deep down the mind, uh, without really involving safety there, you know, before you start the work in some mines in gold and blood, we have what we call early entry examination. Okay. And making safe, uh, even in the cold mines, this applies generally to, to to all the, the mining workplaces, even other industries. Yeah. So indeed, I did argue that, and those are the findings of my research at the time, and we still, we still challenged with that, but companies have evolved with time where they've reviewed their production systems such that they incentivize safety or what we call zero harm production systems. You know, you incorporate leading indicators, you know, compliance with certain parameters of safety, you know, Um, and in such a, this
Speaker 1 00:35:29 Is like a reward system.
Speaker 2 00:35:31 Yeah. It's a reward system, but that is based on safe production. Okay. Okay. You know, it's balanced between safety and production. You know, it's not either this, not there, but these two things go hand in hand. And that's how this, the incentives scheme is made of, even, even top leadership CEOs, scorecards, balance score customer are tied to safety as well, You know? Right. From the CEO to the, to the work at the point of production and the rock face
Speaker 1 00:36:03 On the kpi
Speaker 2 00:36:04 Yeah. KPI eyes and, and, and we have seen mm-hmm. Really profitable and productive mining companies are those that are safer.
Speaker 1 00:36:15 Okay.
Speaker 2 00:36:15 You know? Okay. Because once we have an injury, a fatality 10 accident, we have the regulator, we, we also impose on, on ourselves section 50 poles where we stop safety stop edges, you know, so, and you'll be behind with days and what that, that happened, it does affect, it will affect your bonus. Sure. Your, that's safe production bonus, you know, because now you've stopped and you're not gonna reach your target. Your safe product propels
Speaker 1 00:36:44 You to even perform in a, in a safe space.
Speaker 2 00:36:46 In a safe space. And, and safer minds are productive. Perfect reminds, uh, safer production crews are safer and profitable, uh, production crews of frontline mining teams. We have seen that and, and we have evolved, and there is more and more of that happening Yeah. In our, and I must also qualify that we still see some challenges that we are continue working on that effortlessly ourselves as the minerals consult with our member companies as well, with other stakeholders and employees as well.
Speaker 1 00:37:20 Yeah. No, I'm, I'm really grateful that you clarified on that one. Um, I, this was not part of, of, of the questions that I planned on asking you, but I really must ask it on how is your collaboration with the dm, r e especially, um, the inspector of, of, um, Head Inspector of Safety, the lacks of David Macci, how are you collaborating with the Department of Mineral in, in making sure that these standards are met? How, how is your relationship with them?
Speaker 2 00:37:50 It's a very healthy relationship that we have with the regulator. Uh, the Department of Mineral Resources in nhe. Our journey in health and safety with all the improvements that we have made, has been a journey of collaboration. You know, there's no stakeholder that can win this battle
Speaker 1 00:38:11 By themselves,
Speaker 2 00:38:12 By themselves, You know, in health and safety, we are one, we don't compete. We don't have to agree on everything, but on safe health and safety, most of the times we do agree. You know, we, we put our egos aside. It's all about saving lives. We have helped, we have worked tremendously with that stakeholder through the Mind Health and Safety Council. Okay. I mean, we is chat, I mean, I've, since, uh, we've got the board of the My Health and Safety Council chat by the Chief Inspector of Mines currently, David Caesar. Yeah. Um, we've worked fantastically with the minister as well on the health and safety issues. We had buy now, uh, summits on mind health and safety. There's one coming, um, in next month where we track progress on our milestones. We have milestones which have been adopted in the industry on safety culture transformation framework, and as well on on health, you know, occupational health. So research happening, adoption of research outcomes, r and d outcomes. So it's been a journey of collaboration and, and we've made great strides together in working that journey towards zero harm together with the stakeholder and of course, the stakeholders from organized labor. I would also like to mention them. They've played a tremendous instrumental role in our chain, and they will continue to do so. We are all in this together.
Speaker 1 00:39:43 Certainly, certainly. Dr. Let's just take it on to a light note. What is the prediction into the future will always still carry the same concerns and numbers, and what role will the Minerals Council, or what role does the Minerals Council commit, um, to playing going forward?
Speaker 2 00:40:05 We, we, we remain committed another unwaveringly. So to our role of, of zero harm. We, you know, our targeted zero as the minerals cancel, we don't put targets to lives. So, and we do recognize the devastating impact of injuries, fatalities, and diseases on the left ones of our colleagues. And we strive every day to ensure that every mind maker returns home Hamed after each and every, um, shift going forward. There are a number of initiatives. We have our kubu strategies, the Minerals Council, which is the connection between the workplace and home. You know, uh, I believe we are focusing on the right things full of ground. I mentioned earlier on the initiatives around that. Yeah. Transport, um, uh, related, uh, challenges, safety challenges. We have initiatives around it back supported by our COOs around forum. And the board, you know, significant financial investments have been made that, I mean, the staff at the mineral councilors, our COO always say, you know, uh, staff complement this.
Speaker 2 00:41:22 A lot of us, uh, just on health and safety, even almost half of our budget is focusing on tackling health and safety challenges. If you know about our National Day of health and safety and mining, every year we launched at our CEOs meet every, every quarter in each year. We also collaborate, invite other stakeholders. We work with suppliers with universities. We are embracing technology. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, a true modernization innovation. Those are the things that we're looking forward through the future of mining. And, and of course we do underly the people center adoption of technology. People are still imported. We need to put people at the center and the technologies as well, as much as we are adopting them, they will always also come with their certain risks as well. Yeah. So you may have new kinds of risks to consider and Yeah. To consider fall off ground transport with both initiatives, but there's also this basket of general type of, um, accidents.
Speaker 2 00:42:30 We need to unpack it and look at that. We are looking forward to the summit depending next month, reviewing our progress against the milestones. You know, we have initiatives and the minerals can even learning from incidents as well. The just culture from focusing on trans culture transformation. Okay. I mentioned earlier on, so this, this, I, I'm of the view that we focusing on the right things and of course the issues of health and safety are very much part of ESGs. Now, your environmental, social, and governance issues. Absolutely. Very important for investors, very important for communities, very important for employees and their families. Things that we cannot ignore. Yeah. Um, yeah. That's, that's, that's, that's, that's, that's our focus going forward in this space of health and safety. And of course, focus on health illnesses. I've colleagues working on those things. And noise in injured hearing loss, uh, issues of task as well.
Speaker 1 00:43:33 Fu fum museum. Yeah. No, that's absolutely commendable. And all the best on that one. Lastly, mention any organization, any mining organization that you have observed over the years and that you would like to publicly commend on the progress they've made towards zero harm and why?
Speaker 2 00:43:55 It's a number of them. I mean, um, I can mention Anglo American mining operations in South Africa. We've seen that the likes of, uh, Umba Iron or even your heart rock mine, such as Anglo American Platinum. We have seen that going over a year without the fatalities. I mean, Axa, not so long ago, they had the five year fatality free. Yeah. Uh, um, remarkable achievement. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, Black Rock mine as well has been 18 years, over 10 years, fertility free. Wow. Mm. Um, we have companies, even the cban called operations. There were moments where they've gone, as I mentioned earlier on, very challenged with safety, gold, deep level minds. Mm. Um, you, I mean, 2019 Cban Steelwater operations goal to went over a year without fatality. The list is quite, you know, long with now and then, you know, we do see these remarkable encouraging achievements. Kaban chefs mentioning fatality free production shapes, million at million hours worked. So, um, uh, yeah. More and more so, So it's not just one company anyway, maybe, or if you, We've seen that number increasing and increasing Yeah. In year out. That, for us is encouraging. It does tell us that indeed, um, we can't achieve zero harm. We can't really, um, mine without fatalities,
Speaker 1 00:45:38 Dr. Czu. At the same time, we do still have organizations that are still grappling, um, and having challenges with regards to safety. What is your message to that?
Speaker 2 00:45:49 Let's learn. I mean, let's continue learning from others. And in health and safety, we do not compete. Uh, safety and health, particularly safety. I know sometimes we, like we shouting safety and we sparring health. Cause health and effects, like there like a slow bend, late end. You only see the impact later on what is late when start not hearing or coughing, you know, but fatalities accident, boom. Here, blood is here, you know? Mm-hmm. Life is lost immediately. Mm. So it's, it's, it's, it's just, let's learn from one another. Let's continue to effective risk management, you know, you know, for our operations, I know, um, the challenges are not necessarily the same, you know? Yeah. But there are principles that Sure. Can be adopted that apply across board. Across the board. Absolutely. Um, um, and, and that's why the Minerals Council, and with our CEOs and other forums, leadership forums and other committees, even non members, are welcome to, to, to, to join. And we, going forward now in the next few weeks, months, with the summit, where we'll be sharing leading practices and what, how we have done, how we affect. So learn, learn from less, adopt, continue to seek, you know, um, uh, leading practices, best practices. Uh, continue to invest in research as well. Understand the, the current challenges of our operations and, and embrace technology, embrace technology, and continue to empower employees. Does not forget that. Empower employees and engineer out the risks of mining, uh, protect the lives of, of, of everyone associated with mine, including communities.
Speaker 1 00:47:48 Dr. <inaudible>, we have come to the end of our session. Um, I'd really like to thank you for sharing your valuable comments on this very crucial matter. And we hope that not only has your message reached mining organizations, but also the entire mining value chain. And this includes also the engineers in the technological space who have a very big role to play by inventing tools that will help us maintain zero harm. Thank you for your time and really all the best, um, in the future.
Speaker 2 00:48:20 Thank you so much. Very grateful of the opportunity.
Speaker 1 00:48:24 Dr. Si, we are pti, the head of Safety and Sustainable Development at the Minerals Council South Africa. Thank you to all our listeners for your continued support. Until next time, bye-bye.
Speaker 0 00:48:38 Thank you for listening. Remember to like, share and subscribe to Deep Insights. For more mining news, visit mining review.com. Until next time, goodbye.