Sunday, July 26, 2009

Mine Deaths - Tragedy or Economy?

I woke up this morning to a beautiful Zululand day, and suddenly my heart went out to the families of those men killed in our mines the last two weeks. In an article in the Mining news the General Secretary of Cosatu called these deaths a national disgrace. Now im not a political activist, but i cant agree more. We are always willing to show solidarity and concern after having killed people by slosing sections of our operations whilst investigations are being done, but never commit to identifying pre-emptors to these tragedies, closing areas to afford us the opportunity to implement control measures to prevent these deaths. Remove the fatality rate measurement - are we really willing to measure our success against the number of people we kill??? Tighten legislation and make directors, managers and owners directly liable for these deaths, while in the same breath directors, managers and owners should start taking action against employees who fail to adhere to safety requirements. Its time for action - no more deaths - no more debilitating injuries - no more excuses - no more clever post incident solutions. In OHSAS 18001 we have a world class health and safety management system so its not that we dont know its just that we dont care enough. Maybe we are still a third world country if we only act when legislation is enforced! Read the article: Deaths a National disgrace Make a difference: Make every day a "Zero Harm" day, show that you care by acting, stop justifying ludicrous lagging indicators like fatality rates and define and manage proper leading indicators. Yes mining is dangerous but there is no need for it to be deadly! Its good to work, but having to die for your work is criminal. Remember the families who no longer can share this sunday with their loved ones

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