Concerns that a plateau has been reached in reducing fatalities in the mining industry saw Sibanye-Stillwater host a safety and health summit to review how the sector should overcome this in its ambition to achieve zero harm.
The multi-stakeholder summit was well attended by key industry stakeholders including the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR), Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU), National Union of Mineworkers (NUM), United Association of South Africa (UASA) and Solidarity at the Johannesburg Country Club.
Despite significant improvements in safety across the South African mining industry, the positive safety trend was reversed in 2017, when for the first time in 10 years, the industry showed an increase in work related fatal accidents.
Sibanye-Stillwater highlighted that a different and collaborative approach involving all stakeholders is required, if the industry is to achieve its aspiration of zero harm.
All participants to the summit recognised the significance and importance of continuing these dialogues, where stakeholders can put their differences aside and prioritise the health of safety of all workers.
A stakeholder pledge was crafted by all attendees, establishing the scope and spirit in which stakeholders agree to work further towards achieving zero harm:
‘As Organised Labour, the DMR and the Management of Sibanye-Stillwater, we acknowledge the parties’ statutory obligation and workers right that our destiny is shared and commit ourselves, through constructive, transparent collaboration and compliance, to achieving zero harm’.
All of the stakeholders agreed that the summit was an important first step in the quest for zero harm and have committed to continuing with the engagement in three weeks’ time, where multi-stakeholder work streams will discuss and agree on critical actions that need to be taken.