The South African mining industry has been making great safety strides, with mining fatalities falling for eight straight years, until last year. The upturn in the fatality toll has placed mine safety in the spotlight once again with government ramping up safety inspections and signalling that it will increase scrutiny.
As a mine manager, poor health and safety management can lead to arbitrary work stoppages, costing billions of rands in lost output and putting mines and jobs on the line. In this three-part post, we will look at nine ways to help reduce mining accidents.
Acknowledge the danger
It’s easy to become complacent in any environment and that is exactly when accidents happen. It is essential that everyone working on your mine understands and acknowledges that they are working in an inherently dangerous environment. Hazards are everywhere, so everyone needs to stay alert. Encourage employees to lookout for each other and never to let their guard down because carelessness can be costly for everyone.
xMMP (exploration, Mining & Minerals Processing) is a mining “ERP” solution that covers the Total Life of Mine (‘LOM’). Managing mineral rights (tenements) claims, exploration, drilling, EPCM for the development phase, actual mining, stockpiles, plant, shipping and dispatching all the way to mine rehabilitation.
Make hazard communication a habit
Communication could be the difference between life and death on a mine. When there is a hazard in an area, it is essential that people know about it. To ensure everyone is aware of any potential danger, your mining company should focus on improving hazard communications throughout the workplace. Hazard signs and safety labels are an example of hazard communication that everyone can understand.
Stay on top of changing conditions
Unlike the rest of your operation the actual mine your people will be working in is constantly changing. As your miners’ work, the tunnels may change and the requirements for structural integrity may change in time as well. You need to ensure that everyone is aware of the changes being made. Updating signs, labels and verbal communications can help to maximise the mining health and safety related to the physical layout of the mines where people are working.
Don’t miss part two of our post where we look at three more ways to reduce mining accidents.
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