Mining companies face increasing pressure to show what activities they are undertaking to improve safety.
Without a doubt zero harm is an absolute critical part at all levels of mining industry conversations.
The International Council on Mining and Metals has been pushing a critical controls process.
This process is risk management and looks at and asks companies to look at the big-ticket items.
Those absolutely critical controls are the preventative and mitigating controls, and companies need to ensure that these controls are in place 24/7.
In addition, it is important to note that everyone on a mine is a risk manager, and the industry needs to continually set higher targets until zero harm has been reached.
When mining companies formulate systems and procedures, they must move along formulating with all workers as one team.
Mining is a zero-tolerance culture – and all workers on site need to know that if you cross the red line you risk your life.
Mining companies need to go further to influence self behavior in their communities, beyond the workers.
"There is a bigger societal challenge. It is very important that we connect with communities and schools around our mines and start with the health and safety processes outside to correct attitudes and behaviors towards safety," comments Philip Fourie, executive head of safety and sustainable development at Kumba.
It is imperative that proper planning and scheduling of work is done, understanding which the high-risk areas are, who has the competency to do the job, put procedures in place, and send a third-party verifier to check.
Mechanisms for mine accidents are not the same as those for mine fatalities.
Systems in mining are very complex and evidence has shown that there is a growing awareness that if you track the systems, mine accidents can be prevented.