As South Africa moves toward the peak of COVID-19 infections, the country’s mining industry has had to take a slightly different approach to its planned health and safety strategy and interventions for 2020.
The country’s mining industry already places significant impetus on health and safety, in line with its collective aim of achieving Zero Harm, and its approach toward the outbreak of COVID-19 has been no different.
The mining industry’s preparedness to combat other health concerns including HIV, tuberculosis and silicosis have helped mining companies in their ability to screen and test their workforces over the last few months.
Read more about COVID-19
This keen understanding of risks has also enabled the industry be quick in its response on developing guidelines on how to mitigate and manage the effects of COVID-19 in the sector.
On Friday 17 July, the mining industry commemorated its third annual National Day of Health & Safety in Mining.
They are intended to demonstrate and support the mining industry’s recommitment to the shared imperative of Zero Harm.
Under the Minerals Council South Africa’s Khumbul’ekhaya health and safety strategy, several interventions are being repurposed to deal with COVID-19 as a priority, while still being aligned to their original intentions.
The 2020 National Day of Health & Safety in Mining was focused on reinforcing behaviour change at home and at work in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
To drive this initiative, The Minerals Council published a Behaviour Change Field Guide to re-enforce behaviours that support healthy and safe ways of working and community living in the context of COVID-19.
These behaviour change messages will be conveyed to managers and employees at each mine owned by Minerals Council members and, through them, into communities.
I challenge you to reflect on your attitude and behaviour toward preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus and implore you to encourage this among your friends, family and colleagues.
Until next time